As the forecasts warn of increasingly cold weather and the risk of snow and ice, now is the time to check your home insurance is up to date as the winter weather can cause havoc for property owners. During the cold weather which hit Britain in January 2010, insurance claims for burst water pipes increased by a massive 220% in just four weeks. Burst pipes as a result of plummeting temperatures were found to be the most common claim for home insurers during the winter months last year. In some cases, the cost of repairing damage to a home following a burst water pipe can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, with damage being caused to ceilings, furniture, appliances and also personal belongings. If you’re not planning to be at home for a few days during the winter, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or family member to take a look around your property to check everything is in order. It’s also advisable to check all exposed pipes outside are insulated to try and minimise the risk of it becoming damaged and bursting during freezing temperatures. Home insurance experts advise policyholders to check their insurance covers them for long spells away from home if they are planning an extended trip over the Christmas or winter period.