Winter weather warning: how to protect homes and cars from ice and snow
As the Met Office issues a rare amber warning for snow for Scotland, and yellow warnings for snow and ice covering parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales*, Go.Compare is urging people to make sure they are prepared.
Ceri McMillian, Go.Compare’s car and home insurance expert, said: “With sub-zero temperatures and snow forecast for some parts, we’re urging people to take extra safety precautions.
“As well as making sure you and your family are safe and warm, protecting your property against freezing conditions can also be a key priority.
“Snow and ice can be lots of fun, but it can also cause a number of issues for homeowners – including blocked drains, damaged roofs, ruptured pipes and electrical failures.”
Go.Compare has put together a winter weather checklist to help homeowners make sure they’re as prepared as they can be:
- Check your home and the exterior for any damage and repair it properly – replace cracked windows, fix any leaks on the roof, clear out the gutters, and replace any damaged sections you see. If you don’t feel confident about doing the repairs yourself, get the professionals in to take a look.
- Insulating loft spaces, water tanks, pipes, and outdoor taps will help prevent them freezing over.
- Look after your boiler – make sure you get it serviced regularly in-line with manufacturer guidance, and check all radiators and thermostats are working well.
- Protect outdoor structures like sheds by repairing any damage, replacing rotten wood and weather-proofing as best you can.
- It may also be worth stocking up on torches, blankets and other essentials in case of a power cut.
“When it comes to home insurance, it’s also really important that you know what you are covered for so you aren’t left out of pocket should you need to claim,” continued Ceri.
“Insurance cover can vary widely, so check the details of your policy carefully. Most home insurance policies will have some cover in place for any damage caused by storms, ice and snow, but insurance won’t cover you for any existing issues that haven’t been fixed prior to the extreme weather. You will need to prove that your home was in a good state of repair prior to the damage or your claim may be rejected.”
Go.Compare home insurance has written a guide on what homeowners should do if they need to make a claim for weather damage: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/weather-damage-and-home-insurance/.
Motorists, too, are being urged to take extra precautions with the freezing weather conditions.
Ceri added: “Extreme weather conditions can be treacherous for motorists. Drivers should allow more time for their journey – to get their vehicle ready before heading off, for reducing their speed in line with road and weather conditions and, any road blockages or other delays.”
Tips for winter driving
- Clear your car’s windows, mirrors, numberplate and lights of ice or snow before setting off. It is also illegal to drive with snow on top of your car.
- Stock-up on de-icer and antifreeze. Don’t use warm or boiling water to defrost your car’s windscreen as this can cause it to crack, particularly if it already has a chip or crack in it.
- Don’t leave your car unattended and unlocked with engine running while demisting it could invalidate your insurance if it is stolen.
- Drive appropriately for the weather conditions, giving yourself plenty of extra time.
- Remind yourself of the location of your car’s fog lights before you need to use them.
- Driving through big puddles and splashing pedestrians is a Road Traffic offence.
- Driving through flood water can be dangerous and any damage caused to your car may not be covered by insurance.
- Organise an emergency kit to keep in your car. Things like a blanket, water, long shelf-life food stuffs, a small spade – items that will keep you warm and sustained should you get stuck in your car in cold weather.
- Plan your route, check the traffic reports and make sure friends or family know the route you are travelling.
- Ensure you have a mobile phone charger in the car, should you get stuck for a long time.
Notes to editors
Notes to editors:
For further information please contact:
Keep up-to-date with Go.Compare on Twitter; @Go.Compare
Go.Compare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.
It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Go.Compare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.
When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.
Go.Compare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.
Go.Compare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).