Escaping from the Winter Grey? Home Protection While on Holiday

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Most people in Britain will agree that the grey, chilly months of January and February are enough to give anyone a taste of the blues.

Many Britons are preparing to grab a short getaway to escape the dreary weather -- and the last thing they want is to worry about unforeseen breakdown problems at home. Homeserve have launched their HomeMinder Cover to protect against just that.

New research from Homeserve, specialists in home emergency repairs and insurance, reveals that more than a quarter of Brits (28%) have returned from a short break or holiday to find a nasty surprise waiting for them, with breakdowns such as broken boilers, failed appliances and electrical faults being the most commonly cited home emergencies.

The findings come as temperatures across the UK plummet, a factor which will undoubtedly spell trouble for many homeowners as boilers and central heating are turned up to the max. The company says that those people planning to leave their home during winter have to consider that icy temperatures can freeze and in some cases burst water pipes. This can lead to some serious leak damages.

Homeserve research found that Top Ten Post-Holiday Calamities are:
1)    Boiler and central heating problems
2)    Failure of appliances such as white goods
3)    Electrical problems such as power failure
4)    Burst pipes
5)    Evidence of break in or attempted break in
6)    Blocked drains
7)    Broken windows or doors
8)    Damage to the roof
9)    Pest invasions
10)    Lost house keys

The hotspots for post-holiday home emergencies were the South East of England (32%) and the West Midlands (30%), where nearly one in three holidaymakers have returned to find a disaster awaiting them. Those least likely to return to a home emergency were those in the North East of England where one in five can expect household calamities on their return (20%).

In light of this, Homeserve have introduced a new policy to offer peace of mind to winter holidaymakers. The new HomeMinder Policy provides up to six weeks' cover against home emergencies commonly experienced while policyholders are on holiday or discovered on their return.

This cover has been developed to provide protection against home emergencies usually not covered by home buildings and contents insurance. It also provides welcome simplicity if a problem does occur while away - the policyholder nominates a key holder who checks on the property. If a repair is needed, they need only call a 24/7 free number to arrange a convenient time for a reliable tradesman to be on hand.

Jon Florsheim, CEO, Homeserve GB said: "There's always a sense of disappointment when holidays end and the last thing anyone needs is to return home to frozen pipes or broken down heating. We'd urge people to check the level of cover on their existing home insurance and take out additional cover if necessary."

So, with many about to make their great escape, it's wise to think about home repair protection.

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Melissa Fletcher
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