Cold snap pipe rupture insurance review warning

HOMEONWERS have been warned the coming cold snap could mean they are hit with huge bills if a pipe bursts in their home.

Many people are underinsured, according to Insurance, which provides coverage through credit unions.

It comes as Met Eireann warned of falling temperatures this week, with snow and sleet forecast in some areas.

Ahead of the cold weather, homeowners have been urged to ensure they have adequate insurance to take steps to protect their home. Insurance chief executive Paul Walsh said many homeowners are underinsured.

“Being underinsured is a very dangerous position to be ahead of a cold snap,” he said.

If a homeowner is underinsured, they risk receiving only a fraction of the payout they expect from their insurer if their home is damaged during the expected Great Freeze.

“Burst pipes are one of the most common problems in freezing weather,” Mr Walsh said.

“A burst pipe can cause tens of thousands of euros in damage if the water does not flow for a few days.

“The damage bill can add up even more if a pipe bursts while you’re away, as you’ll likely need to replace drywall, walls, cabinets, kitchen units and so on — and you’ll likely need to repair electrical damage, too.”

He said people could end up paying a large chunk of repair bills if they underinsured your home because their insurer usually reduces their payout by the amount they’re underinsured, Mr Walsh said.

Underinsurance is when a home is insured for less than the full cost of rebuilding it, or when the home contents are insured for less than it would cost to replace them.

More homeowners are now being caught out by underinsurance and are facing huge and unexpected repair bills as a result, Mr Walsh said.

A recent report by the Central Bank revealed that around one in six Irish homeowners is underinsured.

The boss said one of the main reasons people are underinsured is because of rising construction costs, which have pushed up the cost of rebuilding or repairing their home.

There are cases where people have underinsured their home by as much as 30 percent or even 50 percent, he said.

“This is a very dangerous position to be in before a cold snap.”

Some people have had to borrow to cover home repair bills because they were underinsured and didn’t have a rainy day fund ready to go, Mr Walsh said.

“It’s important for homeowners to know that they are responsible for ensuring their home is insured for the correct amount.”

People sometimes worry that their home insurance will become more expensive if they increase the building’s sum insured, which is the maximum amount the insurer will pay if a house is damaged or destroyed and needs to be rebuilt.

But Mr Walsh said it might not affect the premium at all. Cold snap pipe rupture insurance review warning

Fry Electronics Team

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