Winter claims spike

Posted on: 18 January 2019

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With sub zero temperatures and freezing conditions predicted to hit over the coming weeks, Home & Legacy provides a bit of background into winter perils and how to avoid them.

Winter claims spike

As the weather gets colder, insurance claims departments prepare for their busiest season of the year. At Home & Legacy 30% of the claims we receive throughout the whole year are 'winter claims' - occurring between December and February.

Stormy conditions

Our data shows nearly 60% of all storm claims occur December to February. Increased rainfall and higher water levels mean that flooding is also more likely to occur as a result of adverse weather during the winter months. This creates the perfect storm for claims!

According to our claims experience, the average cost of a flood claim in December is 88% higher than the average for the rest of the year.

So with that in mind...

  • If you are in an area at risk of flooding, we recommend you visit the Environment Agency website for guidance and updates.
  • Sign up to the Met Office regional weather alerts service.

From water to fire

Fire is another winter peril, with more than a third of all fire claims occurring in the winter months. The reasons are obvious, with increased use of lit candles and open fires making our homes cosier.

  • Don't leave candles unattended.
  • Never put incorrect fuel in solid fuel or wood-burning stoves.
  • Check smoke alarms are working.
  • Ensure chimneys are swept and clear of debris - sweeping more than once annually is recommended in homes with fuel stoves and wood burners.

From fire to ice

As temperatures plummet water pipes can freeze, causing extensive damage. Following a few simple steps may help in the prevention of such damage:

  • Maintain heating to at least 15 degrees whilst away from the home.
  • Leave loft hatches open to allow warm air to circulate.
  • Turn off the water supply when leaving the home for an extended period and ask someone to check in on your home from time to time.

Winter proofing your vehicle

It's also advisable to be prepared outside of the home, especially if you have long journeys planned:

  • Keep your petrol tank topped up.
  • Use a winter specific screen wash.
  • Always keep an emergency kit in your car. This should include a portable charger for your mobile, blankets, torch, food and water and a first aid kit.

Keep claims numbers handy

The Home & Legacy emergency assistance helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can provide immediate advice on how to cope with a claim and to help assist policyholders.

Keep claims helpline numbers in a handy place. For our customers the relevant numbers are:

  • Home insurance claims - 0344 893 8370
  • 24 hour home emergency - 0208 603 9849
  • Motor insurance claims - 0345 077 0810