Many Brits are feeling the financial squeeze right now. Although energy prices haven’t jumped up by quite the same percentage as last year, many people delay putting their central heating on, using plug-in blankets, wooly jumpers, fluffy onesies and more. It’s a definitely moneysaver – so long as your pipes don’t burst when the really cold spells happen late December/January. Here’s the word from Zurich:
New analysis from Zurich Insurance reveals that the number of burst pipes in British homes soared last year by 75% as 13 million1 households didn’t put their heating on.
Experts at the insurance giant warn a similar crisis could play out this winter as energy bills remain high. In fact, households risk facing damage costs of up to £12,791 if frozen pipes lead to escape of water in their home.
With temperatures across the UK set to drop by the end of the month, data from Zurich UK reveals that December 2022 saw 77% more claims, compared to the same period the previous year, as the ‘big freeze’ swept across the UK. The sub-zero conditions froze the water in pipes, causing them to expand and eventually split from the pressure.
While energy bills have dropped in recent months, they remain historically high, sparking fears that this winter could see a similarly high number of burst pipe incidents. Despite the UK currently experiencing milder temperatures than last year, when temperatures drop below zero the risk of burst pipes and escape of water rises. In the worst cases, a burst pipe often means people are forced into alternative accommodation, while a property is dried and repaired.
Not only have burst pipes become more common, but the damage they cause is becoming more expensive to repair. The average cost of repairing damage due to escape of water rose from £8,663 in 2021 to £12,791 last year, Zurich’s analysis reveals.
According to the Association of British Insurers, escape of water was a significant issue for both residential and commercial buildings in 2022 with a total of £987m worth of claims made across the year, a 15% increase over 2021. This amounts to an average of around £2.7m worth of escape of water losses every single day.