Friday, 25 November 2011 10:13 AM
Three million homes were damaged by severe winter weather last year, according to a study by Churchill Home Insurance.
The worst affected regions were Yorkshire and Humberside (14 per cent of homes) and the North East (12 per cent) where twice as many homes were hit as in the previous winter.
Across the country as a whole, 35 per cent of homes affected suffered damage to their roof, 33 per cent had frozen or burst pipes and 27 per cent had damage to fencing or a garden wall.
Other significant damage cases were central heating failed (16 per cent), boiler failed (15 per cent), power cut (14 per cent) and damage to external walls or paving (both 12 per cent).
However, the study warns that many people have not learned the lessons of the last two winters and could see more damage this year. Some 40 per cent of householders have done nothing to prepare for freezing conditions and two-thirds have not had their boiler serviced.
Martin Scott, head of Churchill Home Insurance, said: "A huge number of people experienced damage to their homes last year, particularly as a result of escape of water caused by frozen and burst pipes. It's essential to plan ahead to avoid potential problems."