Plumbers who have taken accredited training courses and have approved plumbing qualifications should be the first people homeowners call if they experience burst pipes as a result of cold weather this winter, according to Direct Line.

The Met Office recently forecast temperatures to drop this week and stay just above freezing.

Such conditions can lead to pipes in homes freezing or even bursting, which could result in devastating property damage and thousands of pounds worth of insurance claims.

Head of Direct Line home insurance Andrew Lowe commented that having an approved plumber on hand in case of an emergency could make a big difference.

"A few quick and easy jobs undertaken now could prevent damage such as pipes bursting. However, if something does go wrong, knowing you can call on an experienced tradesperson to fix the problem can provide significant peace of mind," he said.

Research by Aviva recently revealed that the number of claims for water damage typically rise by around 20 per cent between December and February, with the average claim costing close to £3,000.

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