One million homes damaged by winter

New research has revealed that almost one million homes were damaged by severe winter weather last year, with an average winter damage bill of £1635 equating to a £1.5 billion collectively.

With Arctic storms battering the UK this December, including winds of over 100mph, experts fear homeowners will be hit with even higher costs.

Key statistics in the study for Direct Line show that one in eight (12 percent) homes have been damaged by severe winter weather in the past five years.

Of the properties damaged in this period, 43 percent had problems with their roofs, 23 percent struggled with frozen pipes, boiler failure affected 18 percent and an unlucky nine percent even had to move out of their home as a result of damage.

Despite the huge cost of damage, just a third (35 percent) of households have had their boiler serviced, with just a quarter clearing their gutters (24 percent) and only a fifth (20 percent) lagging their pipes.

More than one in 20 (over 1.6 million) households have yet to turn on their central heating this winter and almost a third (32 percent) of householders delayed turning on their heating this year.