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water damage holiday homes

water damage holiday homesIf you’ve ever had a water leak issue in your own home, you’ll know that small problems can quickly escalate when it comes to water damage. It’s therefore little surprise that `escape of water’ causes approximately £2 million of water damage to UK properties every day*. That’s a staggering £23 every second! They also account for 21% of all property insurance claims. (*Association of British Insurers – ABI).

So what are the most common causes of water damage in holiday homes? How can you reduce the risk in yours?

Those dreaded frozen pipes…

It’s that time of year when frost appears and temperatures can plummet dipping the mercury well beneath freezing overnight. This can be a real issue for holiday homes if left unoccupied. Frozen pipes being one of the most common and expensive causes of water damage in the UK each year.

To ensure you don’t fall foul of our cooler climate always make sure that your:

  • pipes are sufficiently lagged
  • heating is left on to maintain a minimum temperature throughout your holiday home to prevent pipes from freezing
  • holiday home is regularly inspected both externally and internally

Remember saving a few pennies on heating costs can lead to far greater loss through water damage. If you don’t leave the heating on make sure the water is turned off and the system is drained.

  • Check your holiday home insurance policy document for full conditions to which you must comply to maintain full cover.

Here’s some more useful information on protecting your holiday home from frozen and burst pipes:

Poor workmanship…

Just like any other area of your holiday home – whether it be your website, your furnishings or your electrics – quality is the key when it comes to avoiding water damage. All maintenance and any changes to your cottage plumbing should be carried out by a professional using appropriate quality materials. Incorrectly installed plastic plumbing and poor quality underfloor heating have contributed to an increase in water damage.

Pipework fatigue and failure

Another common cause of water loss in holiday homes is pipework failure. This will often happen at the point at which one pipe meets another and where the joint is weaker than the pipe itself. Flexible hose tails, often used in confined spaces such as wash basins and to connect washing machines and dishwashers are two common culprits when it comes to failure over time and should therefore be regularly checked and replaced if needed.

Valves and ball cocks are also prone to failure, with all resulting in leaks that can have the potential to escalate quickly if not identified, which is an issue in unoccupied holiday homes and therefore places an increased importance on regularly checking the property yourself or appointing this responsibility to somebody else.

Lack of regular maintenance

We’ve already highlighted the importance of conducting regular checks on your holiday home. These checks not only prevent issues with escaping water, but also identify them early before potential damage can escalate, so it’s unsurprising that a lack of regular maintenance can also cause issues. When was the last time you checked all of the taps, pipe joints, flexible braided hoses, ball cocks and any other potential plumbing nightmares in your cottage? If the answer isn’t within the past few months, then the time is now to avoid any future damage and disruption.

Our free water leak action pack could help reduce water damage in your holiday home

We’re always keen to help our holiday homeowners before issues occur, which is why we offer our policy holders a free Water Leak Action Pack which contains:

  • Guidance on preventing water leaks
  • What to do if you, your housekeeper or guests discover a leak
  • Somewhere to record where your stopcock is to be found
  • Labels and stickers to clearly mark your stopcock
  • Somewhere to record contact numbers in case of a leak

There’s a good chance we have already supplied you with a free Water Leak Action Pack for your holiday home, are you using yours? Find out more here.

Boshers are specialist providers of holiday home insurance. For information on how we can help protect your holiday let business ,call us on 01237 429444.

flexible braided hose

flexible braided hosesWhy should holiday homeowners be concerned about flexible braided hoses? No matter the size of your holiday home there’s one thing that we can guarantee; it’s going to have a kitchen, bathroom and no doubt an ensuite or two! Within these you’ll have sinks, behind which you’re going to have pipes feeding the hot and cold water taps.

All absolutely fine and normal so far! However, a potential issue could be lurking behind your sink; we are of course talking about flexible braided hoses. These are often used in confined spaces such as found in the kitchen and bathroom. Fitted in order to more easily join the necessary pipework to the taps. Without the complexity of an alternative such as soldered copper piping. This is often to save time and money in the short term.

The issue here is that more and more people have been experiencing problems with the functionality and longevity these pipes. Which when combined with the fact that escape of water claims are not only one of the most common in the UK, but also one of the most expensive (on average costing a home around £7,000 in damage), is thrusting their suitability for UK holiday homes quickly into the limelight.

Facts about flexible braided hoses

Flexible braided hoses are a plumbing connection from the water main to sanitory ware. They are very versatile and commonly installed in modern homes to replace copper pipe. Unfortunately, they come with a whole host of cons, which can lead to leakages and ruptures, or worst case scenario, major escape of water claims. Some of the reasons this might occur are:

  • They don’t have a very long shelf life – often just five years.
  • Some products are of questionable quality
  • Correct maintenance is not carried out which can lead to rust, fraying or kinking
  • Incorrect installation. They could be over stretched or too loose

If your pipes were to fail, you could be facing ruined carpets, warped wooden floors and water damaged ceilings, which can often leave parts or the whole of your property uninhabitable for some time after the event.

Reasons why flexible braided hoses are often used

Stainless steel flexible braided hoses are attractive because of their price point – they are cheap. They’re also fairly easy to install compared to alternatives, which of course appeals to the DIY plumber. If you do have any installed in your holiday home, whether it be in your bathrooms or kitchen, were you aware that they have a meager 5-year life span? They will most likely start to deteriorate if they exceed that time.

The majority won’t be aware, but if you do have these in your cottage there’s no need to panic or start calling for the emergency plumber as there are a number of ways to safeguard your property going forward.

What can you do to prevent water damage from flexible piping?

The good news is, water damage from flexi hoses is preventable. There a few important steps to follow in order to reduce the risk of water leakage or full pipe failure within your holiday cottage:

  1. Ensure a licensed plumber installs all flexible water hoses within your property. In order for installation to be safe and thorough, you need someone with specialised knowledge.
  2. If you’ve already had pipes installed by an unqualified individual, ask a profressional plumber to check the quality and brand of the product and the installation, to ensure there aren’t any issues with the installation.
  3. Leave information in your guest pack as to where the mains water stopcock is in case they need to switch it off in an emergency.
  4. Carry out proactive, effective and regular maintenance. You need to be regularly checking the flexible hoses throughout your cottage in order to identify corrosion and small leaks before they become big issues.
  5. If you see any signs of corrosion, leakage or any connectors are loosening, contact a licensed plumber as soon as possible.
  6. Replace the flexible hoses every 5 years and be sure to check the warranties on anything you purchase.
  7. Better still consider replacing your flexible braided hoses with copper plumbing to the taps before they reach their shelf life

If your holiday home is going to be empty for a period of time, switch off the main water valve to prevent flooding if a leak occurs. Leave your heating on to prevent frozen pipes, refer to your holiday home insurance policy document for conditions to which you should adhere in this respect.

Are you a client of Boshers?

You will have received a Water Leak Action Pack complete with a tag to mark the location of your stopcock. Read more here:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444.

Holiday Home Winter Maintenance

Holiday Home Winter MaintenanceThese essential holiday home winter maintenance tips should help you survive the low season claim free. This time of year is an interesting one for many holiday homeowners; whilst there’s been a trend towards an increase in bookings during the first few months of each year, for many this will still be the lowest period of occupancy and at a time when the great British weather can be at its most unforgiving.

Although it may seem a good time to lock the cottage door, shut everything down for a few months and get some well-earned rest, there are still a few things you’ll need to be doing in order to make sure your holiday home is in tip top condition for when your guests begin to arrive in their droves once more.

Here’s a timely reminder of what you should and need to be doing at this time of year, congratulations if you’re already on top of them all.

Getting your holiday home ready for significant weather

Step one when it comes to winter maintenance; make sure that the property is fit to withstand winter weather. Wind, rain, and even snow can cause real damage to properties so some quick visual checks can make sure that your property stands in good stead to fight them off.

One of the most common causes of damage is loose roof slates; how are yours looking? Have a qualified roofer carry out any maintenance that may be required.

Another is the blockage of drains and downpipes causing water to collect in large volumes; when was the last time yours were checked and cleaned? Remember leaves, a key culprit when it comes to blockages, have been falling for a number of months now.

Trees, hedges and gardens also need a prune to stop any large branches becoming flying objects that can do damage to not only your own cottage, but those living or parked nearby.

Avoiding frozen pipes

As insurers we know there’s nothing like Jack Frost when it comes to claims and damage to properties; your heating shouldn’t be turned off at this period. Ensure that it’s set to a minimum temperature throughout your holiday home to prevent pipes from freezing. If you able to do so also ensure the water is turned off to minimise the chances of water escaping through pipes bursting or failed plumbing. If you’re unable to leave the heating on then all water systems should be drained after turning off the supply at the stop cock.

Opportunist thieves

Low visitor numbers mean plenty of unoccupied properties and therefore for potential targets for those looking to take advantage.  If you do have sporadic visitors during this period, then make sure that you use something such as a key safe and that the code for this safe is changed on a regular basis.

If you live some distance from your holiday home, have someone check the property on a regular basis. Regular visits can minimise the chances of a break in. As can ensuring that all doors and windows are locked once guests have departed.

Complying with policy conditions

Insurance policy conditions aren’t there to get insurers out of a claim or to be overly officious. They’re there to help you minimise the risks to your property.

Being aware of the conditions in your policy will ensure that you know you’re adhering to everything you need to. If you make a claim, you’ll be confident that you have taken due care of your property. In doing so you’ll also be minimising the risks to your holiday cottage and guests. We are always upfront and clear about our policy conditions but just incase you need reminding, click below to reveal them:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. We’re here to help and support you as a holiday homeowner. If you require advice or an insurance quote please give us a call on 01237 429444.

water leaks

water leaksPreventing damage from water leaks

Each year, water leaks produce enough water to fill almost 4,000 Olympic sized swimming pools, and create millions of pounds of damage. As the weather gets colder, holiday homes are often left empty for longer periods during this time of year, hence the risk of water leaks is only increased.

FREE Water Leak Action Pack

To help you try to avoid leaks in your holiday home and to help your guests act quickly if one is discovered, we’re sending every one of our holiday home insurance policyholders a Water Leak Action Pack which contains:

  • Guidance on preventing water leaks
  • What to do if you, your housekeeper or guests discover a leak
  • Somewhere to record where your stopcock is to be found
  • Labels and stickers to clearly mark your stopcock
  • Somewhere to record contact numbers incase of a leak

Once you have used the contents and recorded the important numbers the Water Leak Action Pack can be slipped into your holiday cottage welcome folder as useful aide memoir.

New customers will receive the pack when you take out a holiday home insurance policy. Existing customers will be sent one with your renewal receipt. If you can’t wait until your policy is due for renewal or if we usually correspond with you by email, contact us now and we’ll behappy to post one to you without delay.

Common causes of water leaks

Here we explain some of the common causes of water leaks in your holiday home and how you can combat them to ensure your cottage is always ready for your visitors.

Pipework failure

One of the most common causes of water leaks is pipework failure. The issue will often occur at the joint at which one pipe meets with another. Most noteworthy is where flexible hose tails have failed. These are often used on wash basins, and to connect washing machines and dishwashers. Valves and ball cocks are also prone to failure, with all resulting in leaks that can have the potential to escalate quickly if not identified, which is an issue in unoccupied holiday homes that are not regularly checked.

Reasons for pipework failure

The failure can occur for a number of reasons; copper pipes are prone to corrosion over time, whilst poor workmanship can leave you with pipes that aren’t fit for use and ultimately cause big problems.  It’s important to state here that if any alterations or additions are made to the pipework of your holiday home then they should be carried out by a qualified and reputable professional.

Freezing pipes

The most common of all causes of damage to pipework is freezing, which is why it’s vital that your pipes are sufficiently lagged, the heating is left on to maintain a minimum temperature throughout your holiday home to prevent pipes freezing or your water is turned off and the system is drained.

The temperatures have already dropped so if your holiday home is currently unoccupied then ensure these steps have been taken.

What to do if you find a leak

If you discover a suspected leak, it is vital that you take immediate action. The potential water loss from a burst pipe can be as much as 400 litres every hour; that’s about 4 full bath tubs of water, which if left floating around your cottage is going to quickly begin doing some serious damage.

Step one: Turn off the water supply and electrics

First port of call is always to turn off your water supply at the main stopcock; make sure you know where it is located so you can get to it as quickly as possible and have clear instructions for anyone looking after your property to do so. You will also need to turn off the electrics and heating to prevent any further damage or risk of fire.

Step two: drain the water system and take safe action

Next, drain the water system using the taps within the property, ensuring that the system is empty and no more water can leak and cause damage and empty the contents that are at risk and move them into a dry area.

If water is coming through the ceiling, collect it in a suitable receptacle. Similarly, if the ceiling is bulging you can consider piercing it to release the water. Furthermore this may help prevent the ceiling from collapsing. With both of these situations, only carry out the action if it is completely safe to do so.

Preventing leaks

The best way to stop leaks is to prevent it from happening at all. There are several measures you can take to keep your holiday let safe from water damage.

Measure one: Check your stopcock and systems on a regular basis

Checking your stopcock periodically can make things a lot easier if you do get a leak in the future. Check that it turns on and off easily; a stiff stopcock only adds extra worry to an already stressful situation.

Alongside checking the stopcock, regularly inspect and maintain your systems. Use an accredited plumber to inspect your pipework, in addition change washers and fix leaking taps without delay. You will also need to check water tanks and cylinders for any corrosion.

Measure two: Identify any high risk areas in your holiday cottage

Walk through your holiday home and identify any high risk areas and exposed pipework as these exposed pipes could be at risk of freezing, so will need proper insulation and lagging.

Measure three: Empty property procedures

If your holiday let is left empty for an extended period of time, isolate and drain down the water supply. Also, ensure that heating is properly maintained. Check that sink plugs are not left in, as water from any dripping taps could build up and cause issues.

Measure four: Helping your guests

We also recommend that you provide guests with important information on what to do should a leak occur, especially relevant:

  • Instructions of where to find the stopcock
  • Emergency contact information

Use your Water Leak Action Pack and follow these simple guidelines to prevent water leaks from turning into a bigger problem. Finally contact your holiday home insurance claims line without delay as they’ll provide you with advice and guidance and appoint specialists to help dry out and repair your property. Afterall you’ll want to get your holiday home up and running again without delay.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. We’re here to help and support you as a holiday homeowner. If you require advice or an insurance quote please give us a call on 01237 429444.

protecting your holiday home from cold snap

As the country braces itself for potentially ice-cold conditions this weekend, forgive us for reminding you of the importance of protecting your holiday home from the cold. 

The advice comes as the BBC forecast that temperatures could dive as low as -15C on Saturday and Sunday evening, the lowest since March 2013. Conditions such as these can lead to the bursting of domestic pipes, with the cold winter of 2010 creating more than £1 billion of damage inside a 37 day period.

protecting your holiday home from cold snapWe see more burst pipe and escape of water insurance claims than any other; the damage caused can be significant but there are several simple steps holiday homeowners can take in order to minimise their risk.

The firm has issued guidance including a number of steps you can take in order to reduce the chances of potential damage:

  • If your holiday home is to be unoccupied during the winter ensure you turn the water off at the stopcock.
  • If the stopcock is not turned off, and the heating system drained, ensure the temperature throughout your holiday home is kept above 7C.
  • Ensure you arrange for regular checks to be made on the property during any period in which it isn’t occupied.
  • Look to lag and insulate pipes, boilers and storage tanks, particularly if exposed to the elements.
  • Make sure your heating and water systems are regularly checked by a professional and consider installing a leak detection system or automatic stopcock, particularly if you live away from the property.
  • Refer to your property insurance policy for details on the exact conditions that must be met in order to ensure your cover is not compromised in the event of a claim

The damage caused by burst pipes can be significant to any property homeowner, potentially leaving areas of your home uninhabitable for a considerable amount of time. Being proactive in reacting to potentially severe weather could save you considerable potential cost and disruption.

For more guidance on property checks during extreme weather and avoiding burst pipes please read:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

* Source Association Of British Insurers (ABI) – Avoid frozen and burst pipe problems this winter warns ABI

Key to protecting your holiday let

Your key to protecting your holiday let. As claims increase so do premiums. Fortunately there’s lots you can do to protect your holiday let, your guests and help keep insurance costs down. Take the time to read this informative infographic which explains some of the more common claims affecting holiday homes. There are also top tips on how you can protect your holiday let and reduce the risk of having a claim yourself.

If you are having any trouble viewing the interactive version of `Your key to protecting your holiday let’ you can view the original infographic here.

Your key to protecting your holiday let

Burst pipes and escape of water. We paid out more holiday home insurance claims for burst pipe and escape of water than any other type of claim. What can you do to protect your holiday let from burst pipes and escape of water?

  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Regular property inspections when unoccupied
  • Shut off the water when your holiday home is not let and/or leave the heating on
  • Install a leak detection system or auto stopcock
  • Insulate water pipes and storage tanks
  • Regularly service your holiday home boiler and heating system

Click here for more top tips to protect your holiday let from burst pipes and escape of water.

Storm and flood damage caused £400 million pounds of damage to 8000 homes in the UK during 2012 thanks to the wettest weather in a century.  What can you do to protect your holiday let and your guests from storm and flood damage?

  • Maintain drains, gutters and culverts at your holiday home
  • Have a flood plan if your property is vulnerable
  • Turn off gas and electricity and move items upstairs

Click here for more top tips to protect your holiday let and your guests from storm and flood damage

Theft and escape of oil and pollution claims payments have averaged £12,781. The cost of heating oil claims are often inflated by the length of time it can render your holiday home unusable whilst resulting pollution is dealt with. What can you do to protect your holiday let from heating oil theft, escape of oil and subsequent pollution damage?

  • Conceal your heating oil tank
  • Fit a lock, security lighting or alarm device
  • Have your heating oil tank inspected regularly
  • Replace your tank when advised to do so

Click here for more tips to protect your holiday let from heating oil theft, escape of oil and subsequent pollution damage

Fire was the cause of the highest claim paid of any incident on our holiday home insurance scheme. At £281,108 the claim represents more than 700 times our average premium. What can you do to protect your holiday let and your guests from a fire?

  • Review your holiday let fire risk assessments 
  • Ensure electrics are safe
  • Sweep chimneys regularly

Click here for more tips to protect your holiday let and your guests from a fire.

Slips and Trips claims are all to common and emphasises the importance of having holiday home insurance including liability cover which extends to the use of your second home as a holiday let. Slips and trip claims can be inflated by legal costs. The highest claims paid for slips and trips is £31,750. What can you do to protect your holiday let guests from slips, trips and falls?

  • Secure carpets and rugs
  • Install secure handrails for stairs and steps
  • Maintain paths, driveways and patios

Click here for more tips to protect your holiday let guests from slips, trips and falls.

For further information on UK holiday home insurance visit the website page most relevant to you:

Thank you for reading the post, protecting your holiday let infographic.

Escape of water protection and prevention for holiday home owners with Autostopcock

Escape of water protection and prevention for holiday home owners with AutostopcockIt’s a sobering thought but 9 out of 10 burst pipes happen when no one is at home. Escape of water accounts for approximately £1billion of damage annually in addition to the distress caused and loss of irreplaceable items. There is a solution which will be of particular interest to holiday home owners:

Escape of water protection and prevention for holiday home owners with Autostopcock

Protect your assets with an intelligent automatic stopcock which monitors water flow in the property and automatically terminates the mains water if a flood risk occurs. Go to www.autostopcock.co.uk and read how to guard against water damage and watch it in action on the Autostopcock video.

Autostopcock have kindly agreed to offer Boshers holiday home insurance clients a special introductory discount of 25% simply use the discount code BOSH25 when purchasing an Autostopcock for your home or holiday home.

The Autostopcock will detect if there is a flood risk in your holiday home and isolate the water accordingly in instances such as:

  • Abnormal constant waterflow for more than 45 minutes indicating a rupture in the pipe
  • If the temperature falls below 3 degrees celcius and there is a risk of freezing
  • If there has been no water flow for 72 hours indicating that the property has been left vacant

Normal mains water pipes can gush out up to 1 tonne of water of water per hour and the effects can be catastrophic. Recent statistics indicate that water leaks now cost UK insurers more than fire and burglary thus putting pressure on premiums and increasing excesses.

Whilst fitting an Autostopcock is not an alternative to complying with the conditions set out in your holiday home insurance policy and maintaining your plumbing and heating pipes, it will provide you with valuable additional peace of mind and potentially reduce the risk of you having a holiday home insurance claim or at the very least minimise any damage suffered. For further details on Autostopcock visit www.autostopcock.co.uk and remember to enter your discount code BOSH25 at the checkout.

Escape of water protection and prevention for holiday home owners with Autostopcock

 

Thermometer showing cold temperatures

Thermometer showing cold temperatures

Top tips for avoiding burst pipes

UK Holiday Home Owner Winter Advice – Burst And Frozen Pipes

Don’t get caught out by freezing weather this winter – Tips to avoid burst pipes for UK Holiday Home Owners

Three of the past four winters have seen the UK suffer a prolonged big freeze which has affected thousands of holiday homes, with freezing temperatures leading to burst pipes and extensive property damage throughout the UK.

Escape of water can devastate a holiday home and is one of the most common holiday home insurance claims. Take some simple steps to protect your property from escape of water damage this winter..!

Here are some useful prevention tips as well as some advice on what to do in the event of you or your guests discovering burst and frozen pipes in your furnished holiday let.

Burst Pipe Prevention Tips

As frozen pipes often burst, winter care is crucial. Try the following care tips:

Policy Conditions
Adhere to your holiday home insurance policy unoccupancy conditions including those regarding:

1. Regular inspections
2. Heating | Utilities during the winter

Heating System Maintenance

  • Make sure your heating system is maintained in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.

Leave your heating on in sub zero temperatures 

  • This means that water in pipes will remain at a constant temperature and should not get cold enough to freeze. Also remember to remove the hatch to your loft so that warm air can circulate. Please note that leaving your heating on frost stat alone may not be sufficient as with most makes of combi boiler this is designed only to protect the boiler itself from freezing.

Condensing boilers / condensate pipes freezing

  • If you have a condensing type boiler and the condensate drain pipe runs to the exterior of your property, ensure that it has been installed in accordance with the boiler manufacturer’s instructions. Such external pipes if not of large enough diameter (normally at least 32mm), properly installed and insulated can freeze up in cold weather causing the boiler to stop working.

Leaving your holiday home unoccupied for an extended period this winter?

  • Drain down your entire water system and turn off the water supply at the main stop cock situated outside of your premises.

  • If you are leaving your holiday home unoccupied – again consider leaving heating on at a constant low level 24 hours a day, this means that water in pipes will remain at a constant temperature and should not get cold enough to freeze. Also remember to remove the hatch to your loft so that warm air can circulate. (This may appear environmentally unfriendly or a little extravagant during these economic conditions, but it might mean the difference between a ruined home or a dry one when you return from your break)

  • Have someone check on your holiday home regularly in between lets, if a problem is spotted early the damage could be much less.

Lots of lagging

One of the main causes of freezing pipes is lack of lagging – so anyone attempting to do a bit of plumbing themselves, should bear in mind that pipes and tanks in the loft, or anywhere else liable to freeze, need to be properly lagged.

Insulate on top of pipes in your loft or attic

  • Insulation should be laid on top of pipes rather than underneath them, as insulation laid below the pipes will prevent rising heat reaching them.

Water tanks in lofts / attics

  • If located on the floor of your loft or attic and are situated directly above a heated room consider insulating up to, around and above the tank but not underneath it, in order to allow the heat from below to rise and keep the water temperature above freezing. However if your water tanks raised above the floor of your loft or attic should also be insulated underneath, as well as on the tops and the sides.

Find the stop cock

  • Before cold weather arrives, find your main stop cock and make sure you can turn it on or off. It’s generally found underneath your kitchen sink. There should also be an access point for a stop cock outside your home (normally near your driveway) so if all else fails you can turn off the supply there. Leave clear instructions on the location of your stop cock for your guests, cleaner and anyone else who may inspect your property in your absence.

Check the taps

  • Repair any dripping taps and don’t forget to insulate outside taps in your garden or garage (or turn off the water supply to them altogether)

Oil / LPG fuel heating systems

  • Do not allow the level of oil or gas in your tank to fall below a level that would put you at risk of running out during a sustained period of severe weather which may hamper deliveries. Take precautions and have an alternative heating source available incase your supply fails. Heating oil itself can freeze in extremely cold weather, speak to your supplier for additional advice.

Night Storage Heaters

  • Unless they are of a combination type which include a temperature controlled secondary instant heat source such as an inbuilt convector heater, do not rely upon night storage heaters alone to to prevent damage in freezing conditions. Consider treating the property as if it were unheated when unoccupied, i.e. turn off and drain the water system.

Your cover …

Damage caused by freezing water and leaking or “escaping” water from tanks, pipes, or heating systems is covered as standard under Boshers Holiday Home Insurance contents and buildings insurance policies.

  • A frozen pipe can cause it to burst causing thawed water to come pouring from the break. Please follow these steps if you discover a frozen pipe
  • If taps aren’t working, showers aren’t running and you have problems with your heating it could be you have frozen pipes and it’s likely you will already know about it!
  • If you’re not sure check all the taps in your home, especially those hidden away outdoors or in the garage, are they running freely? And what about water fountains and features in the garden? It could be they have frozen and you didn’t even know!

Can I help prevent them bursting?

Thawing out …

  • Open the tap nearest to the part of the pipe you think is frozen so the water can flow through when it has melted. Thaw the ice in the pipe with a hot water bottle or hairdryer (taking care to keep it well away from any water), beginning from the tap end and working back toward the cold water tank. Never use a heat gun or blow torch.

What to do if you discover a burst pipe …

A burst pipe can cause serious damage to your home’s structure and electrical wiring. Please follow these steps if you discover a burst pipe …

  • Turn off the water at the main stop cock (it’s generally found underneath your kitchen sink). By turning off the water you will reduce the amount of water which can escape and so reduce the water damage to your home.
  • Switch off central heating and any other water heating installations at the same time to avoid further damage and open all taps to drain the system.
  • If water leaks near your electrics or electrical appliances, switch off the mains immediately. If it is wet, don’t touch them.
  • Call professional tradesmen as soon as possible to make repairs.

To make a claim on your Boshers holiday home insurance policy, call the 24 hour claims line on 0845 603 8381 or call us at Boshers Ltd on 01237 429444 Open 08:30-17:00 Monday -Friday.

These guidelines have been compiled by Boshers Ltd | holiday home insurance specialists for the benefit of our holiday home insurance policyholders. This advice is provided to you as best practice guidance. Please check your policy document for details of any further conditions specific to your policy. This document is an outline of some steps which can be taken to protect your property and is not definitive. No legal responsibility is accepted by Boshers Ltd for any error or omission or misleading statement contained in this document.

Don’t get caught out by the freezing weather this winter!

Last years prolonged big freeze affected thousands of holiday homes, with freezing temperatures leading to burst pipes and extensive property damage throughout the UK.

Escape of water can devastate a holiday home and is one of the most common causes of holiday home insurance claims…

Please take every precaution to reduce the risk of escape of water claims at your holiday home this winter..

Visit our new blog page Tips to avoid burst pipes to read on click here