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Be Prepared

At this time of year we are all at risk of having our water pipes freeze. The cold spell last January left many unprepared house and business owners to deal with frozen tanks, burst pipes, burst boilers and severe water damage to their property, Worse, many of those affected found that they were not covered by their Insurers.

Water Damage cover on some policies has seen wording revisions over the past year. Policyholders, please check your policy, and in particular the small print, and contact us if there are any uncertainties. Ensure implications of any little changes that may have been made at the time of your policy renewal does not result in big surprises. Most important is that you are familiar with any unoccupancy clause on your policy and indeed the requirements on any Holiday Home policy you may have.

In addition to checking cover, work on ensuring your tank and pipes do not freeze in the first place. If you are going to be away from your property for any period of time:

1. Turn off the water supply at the mains and drain system fully.
2. Alternatively set your heating system to operate continuously 24 hours a day at the minimum temperature required by your Insurers.
3. If your policy requires you to have a frost stat in your attic, ensure it is operating correctly.
4. Leave the attic door open to allow heat circulate throughout the property.
5. Have a neighbour or family member regularly check your premises while you are away.

In the unfortunate event of your tank or pipes bursting:

1. Turn off the water at the mains, so it is important to find out where your mains are in case of an emergency. Stop taps are usually located under the kitchen sink or in the garage.
2. Collect any water in buckets to limit the damage.
3. Puncture the plaster in any bulging ceilings to relieve the pressure and again limit the damage.
4. Contact a Plumber to carry out emergency repairs.
5. Phone your 24hr Insurance Claims Assistance Line, Owens McCarthy, at 1890 29 39 49.