Over 18 Million Brits Yet To Carry Out Basic Checks To Protect Their Homes This Winter

05 December 2012

Britain’s flood warnings are abating, but as we enter the winter months the new threat is cold weather. Sainsbury’s home insurance is urging homeowners to carry out as many basic maintenance checks as they can, to protect their home. New research(1) suggests that in the last two years, 37% of homeowners have been affected by problems that potentially could have been prevented by checks, such as having their boiler serviced or checking and bleeding radiators.

The research(1) reveals that four in 10 homeowners (38%) haven’t carried out any checks in preparation for this winter. Repairs to your property can be costly, as research(1) from Sainsbury’s home insurance reveals that in the last two years, weather-related incidents have cost British homeowners a collective £7.9 billion to repair. The most frequent problems including blocked guttering, leaking roofs and damaged boilers, with the average repair bill being £453.98.

One in 10 (10%) Brits has suffered from a broken boiler, the same percentage that has fallen victim to blocked or overflowing guttering. Some 9% have had roof tiles damaged, with 8% suffering leaking roofs. Wind damage to property has affected 6% of Britons and 5% have had a leaking radiator. Frozen pipes have affected 4%, and 2% have had pipes burst in their home. In line with the conditions of most home insurance policies, households should ensure they maintain good upkeep of their property all year round in order to minimise the risk of damage and needing to make a claim.

David Barrett of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance said: “There are a number of measures that homeowners can take to minimise the risk of falling victim to winter-weather damage to their home. Having your boiler serviced, checking and bleeding your radiators and clearing your guttering are easy to do and could prevent the need for costly and inconvenient repairs at this time of year.”

David added: “Ultimately it’s important to ensure that you have a good quality home insurance policy in place. It’s also worth checking if you have home emergency cover, which comes as standard on our Premier Cover Home Insurance, as this will help you find an approved tradesman in the event of a home emergency, like escaping water or if your heating or electricity fails.”

Sainsbury’s home insurance is offering Sainsbury’s shoppers with a Nectar card up to one third off their premium and 3,000 bonus Nectar points(3).The offer is available to those purchasing a new combined buildings and contents insurance policy between now and 4th February 2013 (inclusive). At least 20% of customers will receive the maximum discount. The offer includes both the up to 25% introductory discount off an annual home insurance premium and up to 15% discount due to having a Nectar card, but does not apply to optional extras purchased.

For further information on Sainsbury’s home insurance, call 0800 260 0729, visit or pick up a leaflet in store.


Home maintenance checks completed in preparation for this winter(1)


Home maintenance check Percentage of Britons who have started preparing for winter by doing this
Having a boiler check 25%
Packed away or protected garden furniture or children’s outdoor toys 20%
Checking and bleeding radiators 20%
Cleared guttering 19%
Sealed any draft points 11%
Checked the loft insulation is thick enuogh and in good condition 11%
Saved money for additional energy costs 10%
Turned off water flow to outside taps or insulated outside tap to prevent freezing 8%
Checked their roof/building exterior and carried out necessary repairs 8%
Stocked up on salt-grit to make outside access safe 8%
Unblocked external drains 8%
Insulated exposed pipes or water tanks to prevent them from freezing and bursting 6%
Insulated windows 5%
Checked their insurance cover has emergency call out 4%
Other 1%


– Ends –

For further information, please contact:
Ian Morris / Tom Wilson, Citigate Dewe Rogerson: 020 7282 1037/2842


Lorna Gilmour, Sainsbury’s Bank: 0131 338 2863 /
Notes to editors:

(1) Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned ICM on behalf of its home insurance division. 2,022 GB adults 18+ were interviewed by ICM in an online survey between 26th and 28th October 2012. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.  ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Further information at
(2) Not available to those living in Scilly Isles, the Scottish Islands, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
(3) At least 20% of Nectar customers will achieve the maximum discount (based on Nectar customers taking out home insurance between 04/05/12 and 20/10/12). Points will be issued 60 days after policy start date, providing policy still live. Sainsbury’s Bank reserves the right to alter, cancel or withdraw the offer without prior notice. Full details can be viewed at Up to 15% Nectar discount based on your circumstances and loyalty information. Sainsbury’s customers will receive a discounted rate based on information related to transactions made in Sainsbury’s supermarkets using your Nectar card. For more information go to

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Direct Line Insurance Group plc

Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.

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