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As the cost of living rises, so does the risk of frozen pipes...
04 December 2023

This time of year always sees a surge of frozen and burst pipe claims, but insurers are on higher alert than usual, due to the current cost of living.

This time of year always sees a surge of frozen and burst pipe claims, but insurers are on higher alert than usual, due to the current cost of living. 

A strange correlation, you may think; cost of living and frozen pipe claims but, as businesses and households continue to battle with the challenges of paying high utility bills, many are keeping their heating off for as long as possible.

The inevitable result of this is that as temperatures drop and no heat gets to the pipes, the water in the pipes can freeze, causing them to expand and eventually split from the pressure.

The damage to property caused by escape of water can be extensive. ABI reported £987m worth of escape of water claims across both residential and commercial buildings in 2022, a 15% increase over 2021.

Almost worse that the cost of the damage to buildings and personal belongings is the disruption to family and work life. Many escape of water projects we’re contracted for require emergency repairs to stem the waterflow and damage, stripping out damaged woodwork, wallpaper, flooring, units and furniture, before we can start the drying out process. Only after the building has completely dried out can we begin repairs, and we’ve seen families displaced for 10 months or more during this process.

Preparing for the Worst

Aviva reported 77% more claims year on year in December 2022, as the big freeze swept across the UK, which correlates with research last year that showed millions of people keeping their heating off for longer than usual - and that was before inflation really started to bite people!

This year, insurers are expecting an even higher number of burst pipe incidents, as people again avoid putting the heating on for as long as possible in both commercial and residential properties.

Top Tip: Brokers and letting agents could gently advise clients and tenants to keep heating on at all times, set at a very low 10°C, to avoid frozen and burst pipe incidents.

Protect your home by calling our 24/7 helpline on 01254 665 333 today.