• Arctic storms due to hit the UK
  • Top tips to help prevent winter damage from affecting your home
  • Home claims experts available for interview

With Arctic storms predicted to batter the UK on Thursday and Friday this week, Direct Line is urging householders to be prepared.

Escape of water requires a quick remedy as a burst pipe can result in 30 gallons of water escaping in as little as two minutes. During freezing weather spells as many as 3,500 claims have been recorded in a single day for burst pipe damage, costing the average household £7,0001. As a result, £2.5 million is paid out to customers by UK insurers for escape of water every day1.

Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line home insurance, commented: "Getting your boiler serviced or lagging your pipes when rushing around buying presents might not have been top of the Christmas list. However, taking basic precautions to prevent against common problems such as frozen pipes doesn't need to break the January bank and can save the heartache and hassle of making a claim."

"It's important to plan ahead and make sure your home is properly protected from the winter weather. Leaving the heating on at approximately 15 degrees can prevent pipes from freezing. Find out now where your stopcock is and know how to turn off the water supply in event of an emergency. You really don't want to be looking for it when water is coming through the ceiling if a pipe bursts in the cold.

"Make sure all their gutters are cleared so melting snow and ice can flow freely and remember to check on your neighbours and people less able to protect themselves from the weather."

Direct Line Home Insurance has the following advice for householders to help fix the big freeze:

  • Leave - the heating on at approximately 15 degrees to avoid pipes freezing
  • Lift - your loft hatch so the warm air can circulate to pipes in all areas of your home
  • Lag - make sure any external pipes to boilers have been lagged, this can be done easily and cheaply with supplies from your local DIY store
  • Locate - find out now where your stopcock is and know how to turn off the water supply in event of an emergency. If you’ve not turned it in the last six months, try to do so now in case it needs fixing
  • Look out - for your neighbours, friends, relatives, and anyone less able to protect themselves from freeze damage

Notes to editors:

For further information please contact:

Claire Foster
PR Manager
Direct Line
0165 183 1672
0752 566 5504

1AB1, 2014 https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/products/home-insurance/frozen-pipes/

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 300 7838 or visiting www.directline.com.