Weathering the winter

Article date: 24 January 2002

Thousands of householders could be putting their homes at riskas the winter weather sets in this weekend, the UK’s leadinginsurer warns today.

Weather-related household claims, such as those from storms orfrozen pipes, can soar during the winter months.

Nick Pierson, head of household products for Norwich Union,said: “Every year huge numbers of householders are faced withthe problem of burst pipes which can cause thousands of poundsworth of damage to their homes.

“But burst pipes aren’t the only things which cancause headaches. Leaking gutters, crumbling brickwork and looseroof tiles can all cause problems in the winter weather.

“If homeowners take some simple preparatory measuresbefore winter sets in, these problems can be avoided.”

The advice comes at a time when Norwich Union continues to lobbythe Government for better defences to combat future flooding– another risk to homeowners during the winter months.

Norwich Union has produced some simple tips for homeowners tohelp avoid the trauma of winter house problems:

  • Locate main stopcock
  • Lag all pipes and tanks with insulation material before wintersets in
  • Ensure you have thick loft insulation
  • Repair dripping taps to stop the water freezing and splittingthe pipes
  • If you go away leave your heating at the minimum setting
  • Check whether your boiler is due for a service
  • Repair loose roof tiles and ensure the whole roof iswatertight
  • Repair crumbling brickwork promptly to ensure water cannot getin and freeze
  • Clean and flush out all gutters
  • Check timber windows and door frames and repair or repaintwhere necessary
  • Ask a friend or relative to visit your home every day when youare not there

And if the worst happens and a pipe bursts:

  • Turn off the mains stopcock and turn on all cold watertaps
  • Switch off the central heating system
  • If the pipe has frozen, thaw it with a hot water bottle orhair dryer - never use a blow torch, heat gun, cigarette lighteror matches
  • Protect or remove items that may be damaged by water

To make a claim, Norwich Union customers should call the 24-hour claimline on 0800 012345 or 0800 555333 (all calls arefree).

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Media contact:
Liz Kennett at Norwich Union on 08703 66 68 64

Notes to Editors

  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. In generalinsurance it is more than 1.5 times the size of its nearestcompetitor, and has a 19 per cent share of the market.
  • It has a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses. It insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in five motor vehicles
    • more than 700,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies, and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on thisinternet site
  • A selection of images is available from the CGNU Newscast siteat www.Newscast.co.uk
  • An ISDN line is available for studio quality interviews. Callthe press office 08703 66 68 68
  • Norwich Union Insurance Limited Registered in England Number99122 Registered Office. 8 Surrey Street Norwich NR1 3NG
  • Member of the CGNU Group of companies and of the GeneralInsurance Standards Council

For all life & pensions media enquiries 08703 66 68 73
For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

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