Whether you’re a commercial landlord, a business with a fleet of cars, or a homeowner with a car parked on your drive, we’ve got expert advice for you below to help you make the most of this winter.
If you’d like to talk to someone about your insurance, our team of friendly experts are ready to build a bespoke solution just for you.
Average damage caused by a burst pipe in the UK.
Commercial landlord or private homeowner - we know how important protecting your property is to you.
From frozen pipes to broken boilers and water damage, winter can be a tricky season. Did you know the average cost damage caused by a burst pipe in the UK is £7,500?
At Academy Insurance, we aim to give you smart, data-driven advice. And we want to save you money while we’re at it.
So here are five ways to protect your property or properties this winter.
As temperatures drop, it's essential to protect external water pipes from freezing and cracking. Wrap them in waterproof foam lagging, available at DIY stores, focusing on exposed pipes or those entering a building from outside.
Knowing the stop tap location is vital for quickly shutting off water when necessary. In empty buildings, keep heating at about 15°C to ensure a steady flow through pipes and prevent freezing.
It's crucial to check your property’s insulation, especially in the roof space and less used areas, ensuring it's as effective as when first installed. This helps maintain efficient heating and save costs.
Also, examine the weather-stripping on windows and doors, looking for gaps, tears, or lifts. Fixing these can prevent heat loss, saving you money and keeping you or your tenants comfortable. Remember, while not glamorous, these maintenance tasks are key for energy efficiency and cost savings.
Remember that a roof endures harsh conditions with changing seasons. It's wise to avoid personal risk by hiring a professional for roof inspections, typically costing around £250.
Professionals will check for loose tiles, degradation, and other damages, often fixing simple issues or removing moss on the same day. This proactive approach can save you from problems like damp, heat loss, or blocked drainage, making it a worthwhile investment for maintaining your property.
Winter and mould are closely linked, but proper planning can prevent this. A useful tip is to keep interior doors closed during the day, preventing warm air from condensing in colder rooms.
Managing airflow is essential, but it shouldn't come at the cost of losing warm air. Experts suggest short, intense bursts of ventilation rather than prolonged, less intense ones. So air the place out, then close your windows and doors quickly to combat mould.
The above will free you from a lot of doubt this winter. But just in case something does happen, it helps to have a plan that caters to winter-specific conditions.
Your plan documents next steps in the event of any of the above issues. That might be a list of emergency contacts, protocols, backup properties, or power supplies – anything that you can turn to in a pinch and know that you have a road back to normal.
There’s nothing quite like hopping into a heated car on a cold winter’s day.
But it also pays to be prepared when it comes to your vehicle fleet or personal vehicle – after all, breakdowns can increase by up to 20% in the UK during the winter.
So how can you keep yourself on track for a successful winter season, beyond doubt?
increase in breakdowns in the UK during the winter.
Not everyone gets along with cold weather – and this is true
of batteries, too.
Outside of a pair of jump leads in an emergency, you’ll want to get hold of a battery tester to check your vehicle’s battery. You can replace the battery yourself if it is on the blink or have a professional handle the replacement.
A lot of cars and vans are going electric these days. If that’s you, remember that electric vehicles are less efficient in winter. They take longer to charge and their range is reduced, meaning they’ll need to charge more often.
You’ll want to account for this when planning road trips, call-outs or deliveries to save yourself the trouble down the line.
Fuel levels shouldn’t fall below half a tank. When water vapour builds up in the bottom of your tank, it can be drawn into the fuel line and freeze. This causes havoc with your engine and will mean you might not be able to get it started.
Fuel system anti-freeze (NOT normal anti-freeze) is your
best friend here. Adding this will reduce your chances of freezing and keep your vehicles on the road for longer.
This one’s worth the investment. You value you and your drivers’ safety above all else, and winter tyres offer exceptional grip when temperatures drop. Effective in snow, ice, and the wet, it’s an upgrade you’ll thank yourself for.
If that’s a cost too far, then check the tread depth of your existing tyres and the pressure, as temperature shifts affect air pressure. All told, the winter’s a great time to replace your tyres.
Defensive driving is all about heightened awareness and mindset. It’s particularly useful for your fleet drivers in the winter to keep both themselves and your business free from risk.
Mostly, it involves driving slower, allowing extra space, and employing clever techniques like using the hand furthest from the handle to open the door to improve safety.
If you or your people are in vehicles a lot, defensive driving courses are well worth considering and are available across the UK.
We often hear people talk about winter emergency kits for drivers. It’s a great way to make sure they’re safe in case of a breakdown or emergency. Here’s a starter for ten to think about:
• A head torch
• De-icer and a scraper
• First aid kit
• A hazard warning triangle
• Hi-visibility vest
• Food and drink
• A tow rope
• Jump leads