Ice and snow

Help and advice for your home

This is general advice about how to maintain your property. It's not a reflection of the cover we provide. If you are an existing customer looking to understand your policy, you can view your policy documents online.

  • During the freeze

    Action to take if a pipe bursts

    Step 1 - Turn off the stopcock that turns your mains water supply off and on. In many homes, it's in the kitchen below the sink unit or in the front or back hall, where the service pipe comes into your home. It looks a bit like a tap and may be red in colour.

    Step 2 - Turn off your electricity, central heating and immersion heater.

    Warning: If the damage is serious, turn off the electrical supply completely and leave the house until a qualified electrician tells you that it’s safe to go back. Never touch the electricity supply if you’re standing in water.

    Step 3 - Run all the cold and hot water taps to drain the water system.

    Step 4 - Use buckets to catch dripping water.

    Important: If the ceiling bulges significantly, don’t touch it and stay out of the room.

  • After the freeze

    If your home has been damaged, you'll probably want to start clearing up. But if you're registering a claim, please make a note of the following – to help support your claim.

    • Please don’t throw away any damaged items until we say so.
    • Roll up your damaged carpets and store them in a shed or garage.
    • Start to make a list and take photos of your damaged items.

    You could leave windows and doors open to help dry your property, but please make sure that it’s safe to do so.

Before the freeze

Keep up to date

You can check the weather forecast wherever you are. The Met Office has a weather feed you could subscribe to.

Cover the basics

Pipes that freeze and burst can cause a great deal of damage to your home. Here are some helpful hints to avoid common pipe problems:

  • Insulate your pipes, your water tank, your loft and any exposed garden pipes.
  • Set your thermostat to at least 10°C and keep your heating on - even if you go away.
  • Use thick curtains in living areas and draft excluders under doors to help keep your home warm.
  • Leave the loft cover slightly ajar and the kitchen and bathroom cupboards open to help warm air circulate around your pipes.

Get one step ahead

It can be difficult to find a plumber, heating engineer or electrician during cold spells. Avoid the rush by getting your central heating and boiler serviced sooner rather than later.

Prepare the essentials

Prepare a list of local plumbers, heating engineers and electricians, plus your utility companies and car breakdown services.

Put our claims line number in your mobile to save time.

Put some basics on standby: candles and matches, a torch (and spare batteries), tinned food, warm clothing, blankets, buckets, salt and/or grit and a shovel.

If you need support or to make a claim

Our experienced claims handlers are here to help you.

Get in touch with our experienced advisers.

Helpful links

For further help and advice.