As the nights pull closer to the winter solstice and we look forward to the holidays and new year the concern at the forefront of your mind might not be your holiday home insurance policy. However, December is also the month when HH940 the Winter Warranty endorsement comes into force and it’s important to make sure that your property is protected.
This is because the period December to February is when your property is most at risk from freezing pipes, which can lead to a burst pipe and escape of water. Often the pipe doesn’t burst at the point where it’s frozen. What can happen is water in one part of the pipe freezes trapping water between the ice and the tap or faucet. As the ice expands it puts increased pressure on the trapped water. When the pressure becomes too great the pipe fails and water can escape.
A burst pipe at any property is an experience best avoided, but in a holiday home that may only be visited sporadically it can be particularly traumatic as some time can pass before the discovery of the damage. Taking preventative measures can help:
So here is a reminder of the Winter Warranty:
HH940 WINTER WARRANTY
In respect of Peril 6 section 1 & 2.
(a) We will not be liable for loss or damage unless
(i) For the period December to February inclusive the water supply is turned off at the mains and all fixed water tanks and pipes are drained (except central heating systems) should the Property be uninhabited (not lived in) for more than 48 hours.
(ii) For the period December to February inclusive the Home or Holiday Home is maintained at a minimum temperature of 59 degrees F (15 degrees C) at all times. (b) For the period of December to February inclusive We will not cover the first £500 of any burst pipe or escape of water claim where the Property has been uninhabited (not lived in) for more than 48 hours.
During the winter - December to February if you leave your property uninhabited (not lived in) for 48 hours or longer you must comply with one of the following options:
Option 1 (i)- Preferred Option
Turn water off at the mains, and drain all fixed water tanks and pipes.
This means turning off water supply and turning on hot and cold taps to drain tanks and pipes. (This will not affect your central heating system).
Option 2 (ii)
Maintain your heating at a minimum temperature of 55 degrees F (15 degrees C) - 24 hours a day.
During this period when temperatures can fall below freezing, having your heating on a timed basis can still cause pipes to freeze and burst. Therefore, heating on a timer basis during the winter period is not acceptable.
When temperatures are below freezing even with the heating on, pipes in the loft can still freeze. So it is advisable that you leave the loft hatch open, this will help prevent pipes bursting in the roof space.
Other precautions you can take to help prevent freezing pipes include making sure that pipes in the loft, basement areas or other cold spaces of the property are properly lagged, with lagging in good condition, and for particularly exposed areas there are products on the market that can offer assistance.
Whichever option you choose to comply with the Winter Warranty December is the time to put it into practice as preventing a claim is better than making a claim, keeping your property safe, and your premiums down.
* Correct as of December 2016
Intasure ® is a trading name of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909 Privacy | Terms | Cookies | Affiliates