Water damage from leaks was the main home insurance pay out last year.
The biggest damage was to kitchens – because in most modern houses they are beneath bathrooms and water tanks that leaked in last year’s big freeze.
Flooding brought down ceilings, ruining furniture, appliance and personal possessions.
One of the largest home insurers, Aviva, saw claims soar by 600% last winter – with 60% of claims for burst pipes.
The average claim cost £8,000.
Rob Townend of Aviva advises homeowners to follow some simple tips before the cold weather bites: “Although it has been a relatively mild autumn it is easy to forget how quickly temperatures can plummet and many homeowners were caught out by the severe weather at the beginning of last winter.
“Freezing and burst pipes can be a real problem – in some cases ruining entire floors of your home. The risk can be worse in traditional properties without modern heating systems or properly insulated pipes.
“And when homes are left empty, burst or leaking pipes often aren’t discovered for many days and so damage can get progressively worse.
“So be particularly aware if you are planning to leave your home for Christmas or New Year – if you can keep the central heating on low so that warm air can circulate throughout the house.
“The problem starts when the thaw begins so make sure you have someone who can check on your home regularly and in particular when temperatures start to rise again, that way any leaks can be spotted early and stopped.”
Several insurance companies have an ‘unoccupied home’ rule that limits cover if no one is living at a home for 30 days or more. Others insists heating systems are drained down.
For more tips on flood prevention and what to do in a flood visit Quoteline Direct