The soaring cost of energy bills is being blamed for the 1.6 million homes at greater risk of winter flooding caused by a burst pipe as people choose not to heat their homes while they are away at Christmas.
A poll of 3,000 people carried out for the insurer Allianz Your Cover found that 15% of Brits will be going away over the festive period. 40% of those going away said they are planning to leave their homes completely unheated while the property is vacant.
It is estimated that there are 26 million households in Britain and therefore Allianz Your Cover calculates that 1.6 million unoccupied homes are even more likely to suffer significant water damage if a pipe bursts, should a cold snap hit Britain as it did last year.
December 2010 was the coldest December in 100 years, with snow falling in most areas of the UK and temperatures struggling to get above freezing during the day.
When people were asked why they were not planning to heat their homes while they were away this Christmas, 69% said spiralling energy costs were to blame.
The survey also revealed that most people do not have an accurate idea of how much damage escape of water can cause in their homes, with 79% underestimating the average cost of a burst pipe which Allianz Your Cover calculates to be approximately GBP3,500.
Source: Allianz Insurance plc
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