Last Updated on November 30, 2009 by Mark Lavington

Holiday Homes and Holiday Cottages in the UK can be particularly susceptible to water damage caused by burst pipes, as they often lay empty for days at a time during the low season.

According to the weather forecasters, tonight will bring the first widespread frost of this winter. Please ensure that you have taken preventative measures to reduce the risk of water damage due to frozen pipes bursting. Draining the entire water and heating system during spells of unoccupancy is one method. Alternatively leave your heating on at a level sufficient to prevent your pipes from freezing and ensuring that the pipes in your attic have sufficient lagging, coupled with leaving your loft hatch open to allow circulation of warm air in your loft space. 

Water damage as a result of burst pipes can be very traumatic and upsetting, apart from being a complete inconvenience for owners, guests and letting agents. Many second home owners suffered damage during the exceptionally cold spells last January & February. The exceptional weather caused a sharp increase in holiday home insurance claims in the early part of 2009. Whilst those that had a quality holiday home insurance policy will have had their damaged properties and contents repaired and replaced as appropriate and been recompensed for loss of income during the period which the properties were being renovated. I am sure that if questioned they would rather have not suffered the damage and inconvenience in the first place. 

Sometimes these events are unforeseen, after all that’s why we purchase insurance. Although often with careful planning, good housekeeping, due care and common sense these occurrances can at least be minimised. So beware of Jack Frost, take action and help to keep your holiday home insurance premiums as they are, good value for money!            

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