Safeguard your home this winter

Are you prepared for the cold months ahead?

As we reach for our thermals and heavy coats, it would be ill-advised, and potentially expensive, to forget that our homes also need to be made ready for the cold.

Check your home and contents insurance

Anything can happen and it’s worthwhile being prepared. By checking your home and contents insurance, you can ensure you have adequate cover for both your house and your valuables. 

Our advisors can help with this, either by checking your existing policy or by guiding you to select the cover that’s right for you.

Consider home emergency cover

If you haven’t already, think about adding Home Emergency cover to your home insurance policy in preparation for any household emergencies.

Consider home emergency cover

If you haven’t already, think about adding Home Emergency cover to your home insurance policy in preparation for any household emergencies.

Check your roof

The weather is becoming wetter, windier and more unpredictable. While you can do a visual inspection of your roof from ground level, it is advisable to have a professional check your roof for any signs of damage, such as missing tiles.

At the same time, make sure you have the chimney stack checked, particularly the flashings, to ensure that water is not getting in to the roof space.


Gutters can become blocked and, if they do, it is easy for trapped water to turn to ice in cold weather. This creates extra weight that can bring down gutters and cause damage to external brickwork.

Time for a loft inspection

When you’re in the loft rooting for Christmas decorations take time to check if you can see any obvious signs of daylight in the roof. If so, you’ll need a roof inspection done quickly.

Whilst you’re up there, have a look at your loft insulation and check if it’s still fit for purpose. Heating bills can be significantly reduced with suitable roof space insulation. 

Header tanks and pipework

Depending on your heating system, you might find a water header tank in your loft and this will have pipework. Insulation for the pipework is a must, particularly if the water freezes. The added weight of the ice can load pressure on to the tank itself, which could then lead to leaks. 


During the winter months, where our need for heat and hot water is at its height, it’s important to consider arranging a boiler service as a priority. 

Find your stopcock

It’s helpful to know where the stopcock is. In the event of a water leak, knowing where it is will mean less damage to your property and its contents if anything was to go wrong. Make sure that each member of your household knows where it is and that it’s properly maintained so it can be turned if required. 

Open fires and wood burners

We all love an open fire, but, having a real fire means your chimney will need a sweep, particularly if one has not been lit since earlier in the year. Soot and blockages can have a detrimental effect on the ventilation of your room and you run the risk of old soot being dislodged, which makes your living space unusable.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Check your detectors work and, if you can’t remember when you last changed the batteries, change them anyway.

Prepare for a power failure

It’s always best to be prepared. Power failures might only be temporary but it’s wise to have an emergency kit to hand.

Items should include, but are not limited to:

  • Mobile phone chargers

  • Cash and debit card

  • Torches

  • Batteries

  • Candles

  • Matches

  • Bottled water and canned food

  • Blankets and waterproof clothing

  • A list of local emergency numbers

  • Your insurance details

  • A first-aid kit

Planning on a winter get away?

If your home is going to be empty for a reasonable period of time over the winter period, consider leaving the heating on to prevent your pipes from freezing and risking a burst. 

Similarly, if you are a landlord or second property owner and it is unoccupied property, your insurance policy may have specific terms. This means you need to maintain the property at a certain temperature and you may not be covered for water claims.

Cutmore, A. (2022) How to Keep Your House Warm. Available at: (Accessed 16th March 2022)

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