Beast from the East damage could add up to millions of pounds – tips on protecting your home from winter weather

28 Feb, 2018


  • One in ten UK adults have had to make a claim on their insurance policy due to storm damage, a survey of more than 4,000 adults has found
  • This is includes damage to roofs, fences and outbuildings, as well as burst or damaged water pipes
  • With the average claim estimated to be £905, total damage caused by the Beast from the East could add up to millions of pounds across the country
  • When it comes to burst or damaged water pipes, 14% admitted they wouldn’t know what to do, while one in four would be confident they could fix it themselves. Three quarters of those surveyed would have to call an expert to repair the damage
  • Furthermore, people underestimate the cost of an emergency plumber by nearly £30 per hour
  • People assume an emergency plumber costs an average of £63 an hour, whereas it actually costs approximately £90; an additional, unexpected cost that can further inflate the cost of storm damage

Adam Powell, Head of Operations, Policy Expert commented: “It’s essential people are aware of the potential costly damage a storm could throw at them this winter. Cold and stormy weather can ravage buildings and pipes so we would urge all homeowners not only to protect their homes but to invest a bit of time and money in ensuring you have the correct level of home insurance. For example, check the small print – some policies may not cover sheds and outbuildings, and others won’t cover damaged boilers if they haven’t been seen by a registered plumber. It’s also important to remember that your home insurance policy isn’t a maintenance policy. If a problem has been caused or exaggerated by general wear and tear, or poor upkeep of your property, it’s highly likely you won’t be covered – so make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions just in case.”

Top tips from Policy Expert on protecting your home from winter weather:

  • Check your boiler and heating system – If you haven’t done so already this year, get your boiler checked and/or serviced by a Gas Safe registered plumber.
  • Roof tiles – Check for any cracked, missing or loose tiles and replace them. If a roof is in disrepair the weight of snow or high winds can prove to be hazardous.
  • Keep the central heating on – Set the central heating to a minimum of 14 degrees Celsius throughout the winter. It helps prevent pipes freezing and frost damage.
  • Repair damaged chimneys – Look for cracks around chimney pots and at the roof join, also for loose render and render that’s come away from the stack. High winds and heavy rain can damage chimneys even further, make sure they’re properly stable before extreme weather happens.
  • Windows – Take a look at your window frames and fill any cracks and put on a coat of paint if needed. Extreme temperatures and wet weather can cause untreated wood to expand and rot, treating the window sills helps prevent water and frost damage.
  • Insulation – Lag any pipes and water tanks in exposed areas such as lofts, garages and utility rooms to prevent pipes freezing and bursting.
  • Guttering and drains – Clear your guttering and drains of any debris such as leaves, mud and stones; they can block easily and freeze up.
  • Walls – Check the pointing in brickwork both on the main house, all outbuildings and garden walls, look for any loose stone or areas that are in need of repair.
  • Fuse box and electrics – A home’s electrics are a major source of insurance claims. If you haven’t done so in a while, get a registered electrician to check your home’s fuse box and wiring.