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Don’t let the cold weather catch you out!

When temperatures drop in winter, pipes can freeze and burst, resulting in a costly unwanted expense.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the insurance industry pays out £2.5m every day to customers for ‘escape of water’ home insurance claims.

But what if you don’t have home insurance? Or what if your insurance policy doesn’t cover the total cost of a claim? A survey by Homeserve revealed that frozen or burst pipes are one of the biggest (27%) unexpected cost concerns for those with strained family budgets.

Any flood damage in a private property is the responsibility of the homeowner so budgeting in advance for such an event and taking preventative measures to minimise risk is essential.

The cost of a burst pipe

Even if you take out a home insurance policy, you may still have some costs to pay, depending on your policy type. Always read your insurance policy documents carefully to check the amount of cover and your excess level.

Typically, there are three main costs concerned with a burst pipe:

  • The cost of locating and accessing the leak
  • The cost of repairing the leak
  • The cost of water damage as a result of the leak

Locating a leak can be tricky. If a leak is coming from an area of the house you don’t have access to, you may need to call in an expert.

Trace and access cover will cover the cost of finding the source of the problem. Without this, your insurer may cover the cost of the leak but you could find yourself having to cover the costs to repair access holes in walls or floors.

Before assessing the water damage, the burst pipe must first be fixed. Again, this cost may be included in your home insurance, but always check. For added protection, it’s worth considering having home emergency cover in your policy: this can protect you if you need the assistance of an emergency tradesman.

How to prepare for winter and reduce the risk of a burst pipe

The risk of disruptive damage caused by a burst pipe can be minimised by following some simple steps:

  1. Locate your main stopcock and ensure you are able to turn it on and off.
  2. If you have a dripping tap, repair it! This can prevent water from freezing.
  3. Insulate your pipes – all pipes and tanks in rooms where freezing could occur should be fully lagged.
  4. Try to leave your heating on for at least one hour per day to avoid the temperature dropping too low, whether you’re home or away.
  5. In extreme weather conditions, open your loft hatch to allow warm air from downstairs to circulate upstairs.

If you discover a frozen pipe

  • Turn your water off at the main stopcock
  • Try to thaw the pipe with a hairdryer, but be sure to do this from a few centimeters away.

If you discover a burst pipe

  • Turn off the water at the main stopcock
  • Switch off the central heating
  • Turn off any other water heating installations you have in the property
  • Drain any water from the taps
  • Don’t turn anything back on until professional repairs have been completed


Satsuma Loans could provide help with emergency expenses:

Burst pipes are most likely to happen in winter, due to the drop in temperature which can cause pipes to freeze.

Preventing bursts and limiting damage from leaks is invaluable, but in the event of an emergency, when your insurance and savings don’t cover the bill, you may need help to finance this unexpected expense.

Satsuma Loans offers short-term loans to help people spread the cost of unexpected expenses. You can choose to borrow from £100 – £1000 and repay over 3–12 months in monthly or weekly instalments.

We won’t charge you any fees, ever; you just repay the amount you borrowed plus interest. The total amount you agree to when you take out the loan will never change.








Representative example: £400 loan repayable over 6 months. 6 monthly payments of £126.40. Rate of interest 179% p.a. fixed. Representative 991% APR. Total amount payable is £758.40.