Arctic conditions grip the UK, as temperatures plummet

  • The UK is bracing itself for further freezing temperatures, with some parts of the UK expected to see temperatures as low as -12C
  • Warnings for snow, ice and freezing conditions have been issued, as temperatures continue to plummet
  • Direct Line is advising customers to take precautionary measures as minus temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst, causing significant damage to homes  
  • Direct Line’s fast response teams are on hand and ready to support customers impacted by the freezing conditions


As the UK prepares itself for ‘the freeze of the century’, Direct Line Home Insurance is offering advice for householders on how to protect their homes from the ongoing bracing temperatures and what to do if their home has been affected by a frozen or burst pipe.

With many people already impacted by the recent flooding, the new wave of bad weather expected to hit across the UK is likely to cause significant further disruptions. The freezing conditions can often cause burst pipes and problems with central heating systems. A small leak in your home from burst pipes, can end up releasing as much as 30 gallons of water in as little as two minutes, damaging flooring, plaster, and contents around the home. 

Anthony Woolley, Field Manager, comments: “With the UK set to experience a significant drop in temperatures, due to last for a prolonged period, we advise our customers to take precautions in order to protect both themselves and their homes from the ongoing winter weather conditions.”

  • Leave – the heating on at approximately 15 degrees to avoid pipes freezing
  • Lift – your loft hatch so the warm air can circulate to pipes in all areas of your home
  • Lag – make sure any external pipes to boilers have been lagged, this can be done easily and cheaply with supplies from your local DIY store
  • Locate – find out now where your stopcock is and know how to turn off the water supply in event of an emergency. If you’ve not turned it in the last six months, try to do so now in case it needs fixing
  • Look out – for your neighbours, friends, relatives, and anyone less able to protect themselves from the freezing temperatures


Guidance for homeowners dealing with a frozen pipe:

  • Turn the water off at the main stopcock as soon as possible and then wait for it to thaw out
  • If you know which pipe is frozen thaw it out with a hot water bottle
  • Move any possessions away from the frozen pipes in case the pipes burst


Guidance for homeowners dealing with a burst pipe:

  • Turn off the water at the stopcock
  • Switch off central heating and any other connecting water heating installations
  • Turn on every tap to drain the system
  • Contact your insurance company helpline for help and advice, including arranging for professional repairs to be carried out
  • Do not throw away any items damaged by the leak until your claim has been processed and you’ve been advised it is ok to do so


Anthony continues: “We have our teams ready, responding online, and on the phones ready to assist customers if they need to make a claim. Our priority is reassuring householders that their claims will be dealt with and in instances where customers have been evacuated, getting them back in their home as quickly as possible.”

- Ends - 

For further information please contact:

Chelsey Wheeler

Deputy Head of News and Issues

[email protected]

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting