Maintain your home or count the cost

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Homeowners are being urged to prepare their property for winter while the weather is still relatively mild

A third of homeowners (33%) admit to not carrying out any basic maintenance to protect their home against weather related damage each year, according to research from M&S Bank.

The majority understood that with most home insurance policies it is their responsibility to ensure the property is in a good state of repair (77%). However 15% haven’t undertaken any basic home maintenance measures at all in the last 12 months.

More than three in five (64%) homeowners admitted that they have not checked for loose roof tiles, while 44% hadn’t cleared gutters – two basic maintenance measures – in the last year.

In light of this it’s not surprising that the number of winter weather related home insurance claims rejected due to a lack of general maintenance is increasing, and has more than doubled since 2011.

Paul Stokes, head of products at M&S Bank, said: “Regularly carrying out maintenance on the home, even basic tasks such as checking for things like loose tiles, cleaning chimneys and clearing gutters, can help prevent damage from occurring, and should the worst happen, ensure a claim is valid.”

Home alone

If leaving their home for an extended period of time over the winter months, more than half of respondents said they wouldn’t keep their home’s central heating at a minimum temperature, while more than one in 10 (12%) wouldn’t take any precautions to prepare their home.

Stokes added: “It’s also important to remember that preventative measures, such as keeping your home at a minimum temperature when away during the winter months, could help to avert damage caused as a result of winter weather.”