Editor's Pick

Is your home fit for winter?

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

The cold weather, wind and rain can do a lot of damage to your property, so protect your most valuable asset

Winter is fast approaching, and with it comes the inevitable colder, wetter, windier weather. At this time of year it’s important to ensure that your home is protected from the elements and the Association of British Insurers is urging householders to make sure that their home is ‘winter fit’ to withstand any bad weather.

One of the biggest risks over the winter is frozen or burst pipes which can be costly and time-consuming to fix.

The ABI advises homeowners to reduce the risk of this happening by ensuring that water pipes and water tanks in the loft are insulated with good quality lagging, keeping your heating on for a regular interval each day even if you go away, and ensuring you know where your stopcock is and how it works.

The trade body also offers the following tips to ensure your property is ‘winter fit’ in time for the cold weather:

  • Ensure that your boiler has been serviced recently. This should be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer  (
  • Make sure your roof is in a reasonable condition. Do not put yourself at risk by getting up on it, but if you are able to, check from your loft for any broken, dislodged or missing roof tiles. Where you suspect problems then contact a roofing specialist.
  • Check for any damp patches in upstairs rooms as these can often be a sign of a leaky roof.
  • Check your gutters are clear of leaves, and get any broken gutters fixed.
  • Ensure that you have contact details if the worst happens and you need to claim under your home insurance. Policies usually have 24-hour emergency helplines to ensure your claim is handled as quickly as possible.

Mark Shepherd, ABI’s general insurance manager, said:

“While we cannot control the weather we can reduce its impact by taking a few common sense precautions now to make our homes more resistant to the winter. We are not all DIY experts, so if in any doubt call in a qualified tradesperson to repair any damage or carry out any servicing.

“Home insurance can of course cover the cost of weather damage, but it cannot compensate for the distress and inconvenience when bad weather strikes, so prevention is always better than cure.”