The Festive Season is upon us and many are still preoccupied with the last minute shopping for gifts, cooking the perfect turkey, attending parties and planning those journeys to see friends and family over the holiday period.

Without wishing to sound like the insurance equivalent of Ebenezer Scrooge, this is the time of year when the inclement weather creates problems that can be avoided with some simple precautions.

A white Christmas looks festive but plummeting temperatures can result in burst pipes. Frozen pipes are susceptible to fracturing: a small fracture can release gallons of water causing damage to property and contents. If you are planning on being away from home for some time over the holiday period it is advisable to drain down and shut off the water systems in the home.

An insurance company will usually offer trace and access assistance to locate the leak and address the damage arising from the escape of water so ensure you have their contact number to hand.

Snow adds to the winter ambiance but can result in slipping accidents; as property owners we all have a duty of care towards visitors and reasonable steps should be taken to clear a path to remove standing accumulations of snow and ice.

If Santa is generous this Christmas remember to check your household contents insurance sums insured afterwards to ensure that any new jewellery, technology, bicycles etc. are suitably covered.

Here at D E Ford Insurance Brokers we would wish everyone a happy and incident free Christmas.

Craig Halliday is Claims Manager at D E Ford Insurance Brokers in York.