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TESCO OFFERS TOP TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE AS HOUSES As the weather takes a turn for the worse Tesco Personal Finance warns homeowners to take extra care of their property to guard against fierce weather conditions. Across the UK, insurance claims for weather related damage have increased by 50% over the past three years. The most common claim during the winter months is flooding, but this can be easily avoided. By making a few simple alterations to a house people can prepare themselves for the onslaught of winter. 10,000 properties were flooded in the Autumn of 2000** but 280,000 homes avoided damage by taking a few precautionary measures. Tesco Personal Finance recommends consumers follow these simple steps to prepare their home for the winter weather. · Windows: check the paintwork and any loose putty on the windows, look out for gaps that could let water in causing the window to swell, jam or rot. · Pipes: a frozen pipe can cause havoc in the home so get pipes lagged and keep the heating on at a low temperature at all times. · Check your roof for loose tiles, clear gutters and pipes. Remember to keep checking for extra leaves and foliage throughout autumn as these could cause blockages. · Make sure you know where your stop valve is and that you can turn it on and off. · Don't ignore dripping taps, get them fixed sooner rather than later. · Do check the small print of your insurance policy to confirm your cover, and level of cover meets with your requirements. · If you live in an area prone to flooding, always keep a good stock of sandbags, polythene bags and plastic sheeting or plywood. · Don't forget about the pipes and tanks tucked away in the attic these should be insulated and the tops and sides of the watertank wrapped with rigid polystyrene sheeting to protect against the cold chill and avoid any chance of freezing. Paul Baxter, Head of Insurance at Tesco Personal Finance said: "As the weather starts to turn, it's essential that homeowners take stock and make sure their homes are prepared for any eventuality. Severe weather can take people by surprise. By taking just a few simple steps at the start of winter weather, the impact from even the most serious incident can be reduced or even prevented." Tesco Buildings Insurance covers against fire, storm, flood, theft, vandalism, and escape of water and subsidence. Tesco Home Insurance can be bought over the phone by calling 0845 300 66 00 or online by visiting www.tesco.com/finance or leaflets can be found in most Tesco stores. -ENDS- For further information, please contact: Stuart Neill Tesco Personal Finance 0131 523 9013 Monica McCormack Tesco Personal Finance 0131 523 5533 Lisa Ashley Lansons Communications 020 7490 8828 Notes to Editors: * information sourced from the ABI ** information sourced from The Environment Agency Flood Awareness Campaign 2002 Tesco Home Insurance is provided by UK Insurance Ltd Tesco Personal Finance, the financial services arm of the UK's number one supermarket chain, was launched in July 1997 and offers a combination of Internet, supermarket and telephone banking. Tesco Personal Finance now has over 3 million customer accounts and provides a range of low cost, value for money financial services. It is a joint venture between Tesco Stores Ltd and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Tesco Personal Finance Ltd. Registered in Scotland No 173199.Registered Office 42 St Andrews Square Edinburgh, EH2 2YE ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker http://www.waymaker.net The following files are available for download: http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2003/01/09/20030109BIT00280/wkr0001.doc http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2003/01/09/20030109BIT00280/wkr0002.pdf