You are here: Home > Media > Press releases

Press releases

HomeServe plumber Marlie Packer named in England rubgy squad ahead of Women’s Rugby World Cup10720141240<!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/7751117293/66120800.pdfHomeServe wins gold in prestigious Safety Awards scheme3720141250<!--fix--><!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2036456371/66120200.pdfHomeServe wants to know if you’ve got something to ‘Rant’ & ‘Rave’ about266201417270<!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix-->HomeServe wants to know if you’ve got something to ‘Rant’ & ‘Rave’ about/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/1893148037/66072000.pdfHomeServe football tournament raises more than £2,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care23620149250<!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix-->HomeServe football tournament raises more than £2,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/1621827634/66062000.pdfHomeServe enter into 3 year sponsorship deal with Walsall FC722014000<!--fix--><!--fix-->HomeServe sponsor Main Stand at Walsall Football Club/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/4363049285/64920000.pdfHomeserve find some like it hot: Brits heat homes to sub-tropic temperatures2912014000<!--fix-->Homeserve find some like it hot: Brits heat homes to sub-tropic temperaturesHomeserve find some like it hot: Brits heat homes to sub-tropic temperatures/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/9717202707/64898500.pdfOn call at Christmas: 1.9 million Brits to work on Christmas day24122013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->On call at Christmas: 1.9 million Brits to work on Christmas dayOn call at Christmas: 1.9 million Brits to work on Christmas day/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2671257677/64874000.pdfTop of the Shops: HomeServe volunteers occupy charity shops in aid of Marie Curie13122013000<!--fix-->Top of the Shops: HomeServe volunteers occupy charity shops in aid of Marie CurieTop of the Shops: HomeServe volunteers occupy charity shops in aid of Marie Curie/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2748913254/64738000.pdfHeating bill rises bigger concern for pensioners than falling ill this winter4122013000<!--fix-->Heating bill rises bigger concern for pensioners than falling ill this winterHeating bill rises bigger concern for pensioners than falling ill this winter/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/7214101281/64626000.pdfLandlord discord: thousands of tenants withhold rent over ‘delayed’ repairs4122013000<!--fix-->press releasepress release/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/3051800040/64632000.pdfLights to Remember: Homeserve staff provide centerpiece for Marie Curie Christmas remembrance evening on 1 December21112013000<!--fix-->Lights to Remember: Homeserve staff provide centerpiece for Marie Curie Christmas remembrance evening on 1 DecemberLights to Remember: Homeserve staff provide centerpiece for Marie Curie Christmas remembrance evening on 1 December/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0909881890/64585700.pdfHomeserve ask are homeowners paying over the odds for boiler cover?13112013000<!--fix-->Homeserve ask are homeowners paying over the odds for boiler cover?Homeserve ask are homeowners paying over the odds for boiler cover?/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/6159586208/64510400.pdfSqueeze that won’t ease: Pressure on Pockets from Running a Property23102013000<!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix-->Squeeze that won’t ease: Pressure on pockets from running a property/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/9680826998/63802900.pdfHomeServe says forget BST and GMT: CHT sees the real beginning of the British winter16102013000<!--fix-->HomeServe says forget BST and GMT: CHT sees the real beginning of the British winterHomeServe says forget BST and GMT: CHT sees the real beginning of the British winter/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/1883798564/63782000.pdfBoiling mad: Homeserve find 64% of Brits miss out on free boiler cover protection2092013000<!--fix-->Boiling mad: Homeserve find 64% of Brits miss out on free boiler cover protectionBoiling mad: Homeserve find 64% of Brits miss out on free boiler cover protection/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2849364512/63646600.pdfWasps Wage War on Weary Brits392013000<!--fix-->Wasps Wage War on Weary BritsWasps Wage War on Weary Brits/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/9186426358/63184000.pdfBlooming good deed: HomeServe staff don gardening gloves in aid of Marie Curie2382013000<!--fix-->Blooming good deed: HomeServe staff don gardening gloves in aid of Marie CurieBlooming good deed: HomeServe staff don gardening gloves in aid of Marie Curie/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0464082459/63092400.pdfInsurance Oversight: Everyday Leaks and Blockages are costing Baffled Brits2182013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix-->Insurance Oversight: Everyday Leaks and Blockages are costing Baffled Brits/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/8652726679/62787400.pdfOne in Four Brits Flush Items that Create “Fatbergs”982013000<!--fix-->One in Four Brits Flush Items that Create “Fatbergs”One in Four Brits Flush Items that Create “Fatbergs”/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0119127158/61752500.pdfThe Price of Pride: Embarassing Home Emergencies are Costing Bashful Brits Dear2672013000<!--fix-->The Price of Pride: Embarassing Home Emergencies are Costing Bashful Brits DearThe Price of Pride: Embarassing Home Emergencies are Costing Bashful Brits Dear/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2767195468/61720600.pdfHelen Miles Appointment1772013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->Helen Miles AppointmentHelen Miles Appointment/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0866695502/61676600.pdfHomeServe shares the top 10 things to look for when buying a new home2462013000<!--fix--><!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2709942339/61516500.pdfThis is not just home emergency insurance: HomeServe offers a free M&S e-gift card with online purchases of HomeServe Cover 81462013000<!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/9490689545/61482000.pdfReaching new heights: Homeserve staff trek to summit of Snowdon for Marie Curie2852013000<!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/3764559721/61420500.pdfLandlords Set To Save 20% With Homeserve462013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/5532595041/61404000.pdfThe Perfect Plumber: Ross Kemp, Gary Barlow And Brian Cox Named As UK’s Ideal Tradesmen2852013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix--><!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/7155304671/61362000.pdfBig plumber is watching you: Brits keeping tabs on their tradesmen1752013000<p>Nearly 100,000 Britons have set up a hidden camera to keep tabs on potentially troublesome tradesman, thanks in part to the influence of rogue trader TV programmes and a lack of understanding of what they should look for in hired help.</p> <!--fix-->Full press releaseFull press release/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/6763554653/61330000.pdfPlaying it safe: Homeserve’s Plumbing and Drainage wins third consecutive RoSPA Gold1452013000<p>HomeServe&rsquo;s Plumbing and Drainage business has had its approach to occupational safety and health recognised with a Gold award from safety charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).</p> <!--fix--><!--fix-->Full press release/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0439972177/61098500.pdfHomeServe Shares Five DIY Tips To Pass Down To Your Kids852013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2649456919/60882000.pdfHomeserve Discovers A £4.6 Billion Difference Between Estimates And Final Costs2442013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/5381743441/60213600.pdfWaiting In Drain: Homeserve Discover Brits Spend 72m Hours A Year Waiting For Plumbers542013000<!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/5076891470/60028600.pdfShiver Me Timbers: Homeserve Shows Its Funny Side For Comic Relief1932013000<!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/8731902502/42416558.pdfCost Of Homeownership To Rise 6.4 Per Cent In Next Quarter1532013000<!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/8421157433/42415958.pdfHomeserve Offers Cp12 And Boiler Service For Almost Half The Price Of Some Other Providers632013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix--><!--fix--><!--fix-->Homeserve Offers Cp12 And Boiler Service For Almost Half The Price Of Some Other Providers/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/5925720933/41844158.docHomeserve Research Suggests Brits Have Lost That Saturday Night Fever822013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix--><!--fix-->Homeserve Research Suggests Brits Have Lost That Saturday Night Fever/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/9359201837/41379958.pdfDefaqto Awards Homeserve Five Stars For Home Emergency Cover1112013000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/8623617450/40905958.pdfChristmas Day on Call21122012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0849878373/40624458.pdfFestive Flight - The Risks Of Going Away This Christmas21122012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0008279168/40623958.pdfThe Winter of Our Discontent: Half of Over-55s Fretting About Heating Bills This Festive Season13122012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->The Winter of Our Discontent: Half of Over-55s Fretting About Heating Bills This Festive SeasonThe Winter of Our Discontent: Half of Over-55s Fretting About Heating Bills This Festive Season/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/7194600986/40397958.pdfThe "Do-It-For-Me" Generation: Many Young Adults Unable To Carry Out Basic Diy Tasks16112012000The "Do-It-For-Me" Generation: Many Young Adults Unable To Carry Out Basic Diy TasksThe "Do-It-For-Me" Generation: Many Young Adults Unable To Carry Out Basic Diy Tasks/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/3799806956/39993958.pdfMoney down the drain? Dripping taps waste up to 2.5billion litres per year reports homeserve10102012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/4058550537/39365958.pdfHomeserve Celebrates Hitting One Million Pound Milestone For Marie Curie2492012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix--><!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/8396439454/38926958.pdfHomeserve USA's Top Lawyer To Swap The Court Room For The Wrestling Mat182012000<!--fix-->Homeserve USA's Top Lawyer To Swap The Court Room For The Wrestling MatHomeserve USA's Top Lawyer To Swap The Court Room For The Wrestling Mat/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2770485841/37667958.pdfWalking on Sunshine at Weston Park3072012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->Walking on Sunshine at Weston ParkWalking on Sunshine at Weston Park/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/4435477893/37503958.pdfHomeServe Research Shows Wet Weather Is Driving Pests Indoors2472012000/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/3082995209/36565958.pdfPedal Power: HomeServe's 200km Charity Cycle Challenge to Raise £25K1852012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/8726537427/34879958.pdfSpring Cleaning Tips: How To Get Rid Of Odours In Your Home152012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->Spring Cleaning Tips: How To Get Rid Of Odours In Your HomeSpring Cleaning Tips: How To Get Rid Of Odours In Your Home/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/7677973474/34455158.pdfAnnouncement - Outbound Calls1942012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix--><!--fix-->Announcement - Outbound Calls/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/1335131688/34249958.pdfHomeServe Celebrates National Pet Month With Advice For Britain's Homeowners1942012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/7847119318/34245958.pdfWater Supply Pipe - Customer Information1742012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->Water Supply Pipe - Customer InformationWater Supply Pipe - Customer Information/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2261965916/34231958.pdfHomeServe goes the extra mile for Sport Relief3032012000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix--><!--fix-->HomeServe goes the extra mile for Sport Relief/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/7668621799/33224558.pdfSaddle-Up: HomeServe's 200km, £50,000 Charity Cycle Challenge732012000<!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/3733988030/32927958.pdfHomeServe Goes Yellow To Support Marie Curie's Great Daffodil Appeal232012000<!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2409185123/32911958.pdfHomeServe DIY Guru and Apprentices Support Marie Curie Cancer Care2922012000<!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/1271691022/32812558.pdfSpiders, Hornets and Rats, Oh My!292011000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->Spiders, Hornets and Rats, Oh My!Spiders, Hornets and Rats, Oh My!/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/1553373847/28987958.pdfWhats In Your Pipes?1082011000<p>&nbsp;</p> <!--fix-->/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2227712730/25939958.pdfHomeserve Employees make a Great Escape to support Marie Curie Cancer Care2352011000Homeserve Employees make a Great Escape to support Marie Curie Cancer CareHomeserve Employees make a Great Escape to support Marie Curie Cancer Care/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/5597326007/24034458.pdfHomeserve's Handymen in Granada Screen Debut1142011000Homeserve's Handymen in Granada Screen DebutHomeserve's Handymen in Granada Screen Debut/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0802786786/21438558.pdfManc Traders up to no good342011000Manc Traders up to no goodManc Traders up to no good/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/9633005014/21437958.pdfHomeServe Gas Safety Check and Boiler Service reintroduced at wallet warming prices1622011000/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/9354420800/20292458.pdfHomeserve goes yellow this March in support of charity partner Marie Curie Cancer Care2822011000/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/9745216881/20123958.pdfHomeserve cepebrates its quarter of a million fundraising milestone for Marie Curie Cancer Care722011000Homeserve cepebrates its quarter of a million fundraising milestone for Marie Curie Cancer CareHomeserve cepebrates its quarter of a million fundraising milestone for Marie Curie Cancer Care/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/7250472303/19820458.pdfLoughborough College has the Golden Ticket2512011000Loughborough College has the Golden Ticket/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/6707022150/19822158.pdfHomeserve leads the way in the West Midlands for National Apprentice Week 2011722011000Homeserve leads the way in the West Midlands for National Apprentice Week 2011Homeserve leads the way in the West Midlands for National Apprentice Week 2011/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/1841708669/19795158.pdfRachael Hughes, CEO of Homeserve Europe, Awarded Franco-British Business Person Award 20102712011000Rachael Hughes, CEO of Homeserve Europe, Awarded Franco-British Business Person Award 2010/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0309297135/19512258.pdfHomeserve Engineers bring Festive Cheer to Customers left stranded with Emergency Christmas Kits23122010000/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0060443092/18745958.pdfHomeServe offers Gas Safety Check and Boiler Service at wallet warming prices11102010000/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/2538981655/17924858.pdfWest Midland apprentice ambassadors promote benefits to local businesses2992010000/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/9036205329/16820558.pdfHomeServe USA Announces 140 New Jobs in Chattanooga892010000HomeServe USA Announces 140 New Jobs in ChattanoogaHomeServe USA Announces 140 New Jobs in Chattanooga/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0133632953/16487358.pdfMore Homeserved in Preston192010000/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/0194535596/16399958.pdfMark Grew Walks Ten for Marie Curie Cancer Care, supported by HomeServe2782010000<p><strong>Mark Grew Walks Ten for Marie Curie Cancer Care, supported by HomeServe</strong></p>/static/cms/2/2/9/4/9/6/6/8/3/2/binary/5149813184/16349958.pdfHOMESERVE and DOMEO awarded the "strongest growth" prize1762010000<h2>Because any household, anywhere in the world, will one day be faced with an emergency or a breakdown ...</h2> <h2>... rest easy at home</h2> <p><strong>Press release<br /> 17 June 2010</strong></p> <p><strong>Press contacts</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Dom&eacute;o - C&eacute;line Rouchon -</strong> Tel: +33 (0) 4 72 13 84 00 - Mobile: + 33 (0) 6 21 68 09 96 <br /><a href="mailto:celine.rouchon@Domeo.fr">celine.rouchon@Domeo.fr</a> </li> <li><strong>Kaelia - Nathalie Cayuela -</strong> Tel.: +33 (0) 4 72 00 35 85 - Mobile: + 33 (0) 6 34 23 05 90 <a href="mailto:">nathalie.cayuela@kaelia.fr</a> </li> </ul> <h2 style="text-decoration:underline;">ONLYLYON AWARDS 2010</h2> <h2>HOMESERVE and DOMEO awarded the "strongest growth" prize</h2> <p><strong>HomeServe and Dom&eacute;o, two major players in the home emergency assistance market, announce that they have received the Award for "Strongest Growth of a Company with its French and European Headquarters in Lyon".</strong></p> <p>This award recognises the HomeServe and Dolm&eacute;o strategy to become leaders and reference players in their market with a major growth in their business over the past five years.</p> <p><strong>HomeServe Europe</strong> achieved a turnover of 138 million euros at end March 2010 (nearly 25% share of the global HomeServe Group turnover) with more than 36% annual growth and has 850 employees throughout Europe.</p> <p>The French company <strong>Dom&eacute;o</strong> has increased its turnover 7.5 times in five years, to 68.5 million euros at end March 2010, and has a workforce of nearly five hundred people, including 220 hired in 2009.</p> <p>At the Ambassadors evening organised by Aderly and ONLYLYON on 14 June, the 2010 Awards rewarded <strong>companies making the most contribution to enhancing the reputation of Lyon in France and internationally,</strong> in the following categories:</p> <ul> <li><strong>The "<span style="text-decoration: underline;">strongest growth</span>" award for a company with its French, European or World Headquarters in Lyon</strong> (with extremely revealing performance indicates in terms of turnover and jobs created): <strong style="text-decoration: underline;">HomeServe and Dom&eacute;o</strong></li> <li>Winner of the "Best Business Start-up or Relocation in the Lyon Region in 2009" category: CTI-Lyon</li> <li>Winner of the "International Influence of Lyon" category: Euronews</li> <li>Winner of the "Most International Economic Event" category: Pollutec</li> <li>ONLYLYON Ambassador of the Year award: Nancy Willkomm (virologist)</li> </ul> <h2>HomeServe, world leader in home emergency assistance</h2> <p>Founded in the United Kingdom in 1993, HomeServe's initial goal was to offer private individuals guaranteed assistance for plumbing, piping and drainage emergencies over and above traditional house insurance. The corporate business is based on emergency services and miscellaneous home repairs to relieve private individuals in their everyday lives. Having sold its first plumbing contracts in 1994, HomeServe quickly expanded, offering its customers a worldwide network of 12,000 approved tradesmen. From the gas specialist to the locksmith, the aim is to provide a fast, efficient and professional call out and repair service for all mishaps in the home. This complete service includes selling assistance contracts, managing customer relations and organising call outs and repairs for over 4.5 million subscription customers worldwide. Quoted on the London Stock Exchange, the HomeServe group has seen strong growth in all its activities since its creation and is among the two hundred highest-performing quoted companies in the United Kingdom, with a world portfolio of ten million assistance contracts and net income as at 31 March 2010 of &euro;113M.</p> <p><strong style="text-decoration:underline;">HomeServe Europe:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Four companies in three countries: <strong>France</strong> (Dom&eacute;o/SFG), <strong>Spain</strong> (Reparalia), <strong>Belgium</strong> (HomeServe)</li> <li><strong>Total annual turnover</strong> as at 31/03/2010 of &euro;138M with over 36% annual growth</li> <li><strong>850 employees</strong> (all subsidiaries) </li> <li>Portfolio of over <strong>two million assistance contracts</strong> (+ 25%) with nearly 850,000 customers (+ 16%) </li> </ul> <h2>Dom&eacute;o, insurance broker by trade, "assistance specialist" by nature</h2> <p>A joint venture between HomeServe (holding 49% of the capital) and Veolia Environnement (holding 51% of the capital)* created Dom&eacute;o in Lyon in 2001, which is enjoying recurring growth.</p> <p>Dom&eacute;o develops all the emergency assistance solutions for problems with gas, electricity, plumbing, security (glass, locks) and offers assistance contracts to private individuals through a variety of partners.</p> <p>It manages and deals with claims and organises call outs, using a network of two thousand approved local tradesmen (plumbers, electricians, heating engineers, locksmiths, etc.) spread throughout Metropolitan France. Buoyed by the various synergies between the entities in the HomeServe group and Veolia Environnement, Dom&eacute;o's ambition is to remain the leader in home assistance, mainly by developing a network of partners likely to promote Dom&eacute;o services to their customers.</p> <p><strong style="text-decoration:underline;">Dom&eacute;o:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Consolidated annual turnover</strong> as at 31/03/2010 of &euro;68.5M (increased by 7.5 times in five years)</li> <li><strong>Nearly five hundred people</strong> on <strong>three Lyon sites</strong>, including <strong>220 hired in 2009</strong></li> <li>Nearly <strong>800,000 customers</strong></li> <li><strong>Over 1.9 million policies</strong></li> </ul> <p>* Veolia Environnement is a Dom&eacute;o shareholder through its subsidiary Proxiserve, French leader in home services</p>Scouts Play Their Part in Economic Recovery with New "Entrepreneur Badge"2272010000<h2>Scouts Play Their Part in Economic Recovery with New "Entrepreneur Badge"</h2> <ul> <li>The Scout Association is rolling out a new "Entrepreneur Badge" today - the first of its kind.</li> <li>The Scheme is launched in partnership with Richard Harpin, HomeServe Chief Executive and founder of The Enterprise Trust, a registered Charity set up to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.</li> <li>Chris Evans was presented with the first award by a group of Scouts who are starting on their own journey to become Scouting Entrepreneurs on 22 July.</li> <li>To gain the entrepreneurs challenge, Scouts will have to demonstrate a mind for business (see <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.scouts.org.uk/entrepreneur">www.scouts.org.uk/entrepreneur</a> for details)</li> <li>This scheme is part of Scouting's contribution to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs across the country. </li> </ul> <p><strong>22 July 2010:</strong> The Scout Association (TSA) in partnership with Richard Harpin, Chief Executive, HomeServe, the leading home emergency and repairs group, today announced a new Entrepreneurial Badge for its Scout section youth members to work towards. To complete the Entrepreneur Challenge Scouts must:</p> <p>- Create a successful Scouting Enterprise as part of a small group <br /> Or: <br /> - Create a business idea and present it to a small panel of relevant people (leaders, parents, or local business people) <br /> Or: <br /> - Present, as a case study, a successful business that they are part of running</p> <p>Those Scouts who achieve this badge will typically use their entrepreneur skills to raise money to:</p> <ul> <li>Help those from developing nations attend Jamborees, </li> <li>Extend or redevelop their Scout Headquarters </li> <li>Acquire a new minibus</li> <li>Raise funds for other charities e.g. Comic relief</li> <li>Help them attend international Scout events such as world Scout jamborees.</li> </ul> <p>This is the first time that business skills have been actively promoted by TSA. However, values such as persistence, innovation and hard work are intrinsic to both enterprise and the Scouting Movement. As belts tighten everywhere in the next few years, TSA hopes to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial activity in communities across the country.</p> <p>Richard Harpin, Chief Executive of HomeServe, said: <em>'I am delighted to have worked with The Scouts Association over the last nine months to develop the entrepreneur badge. This initiative aims to encourage teenagers in a non-school environment to get excited about setting up their own business in the future, making a real impact on the long-term prosperity of our country". He added "For The Scout Association, as well as driving more funds for the local group, this award will encourage further involvement from parents and business leaders, helping to generate more scout leaders, which in turn will reduce the scout's waiting list"</em>.</p> <p>A lifelong entrepreneur, Richard Harpin is committed to driving and rewarding entrepreneurial talent in the younger generation. UK winner of the Ernst &amp; Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008, Richard has been recognised for building HomeServe into a &pound;1.4 billion international business. As founder of The Enterprise Trust Charity, Richard is passionate encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs and recognises the important role that the Scouts can play in shaping the business minds of the future.</p> <p>Simon Carter Assistant Director, The Scout Association said: <em>"Scouting has always existed to promote leadership, creativity and effort and we want to apply these values to 21st Century Britain. There has never been a more important time to encourage entrepreneurship in this country. We hope this scheme and awards will foster the business leaders of tomorrow that our country needs."</em></p> <p>Richard Harpin and some of the successful scouts will be presenting Chris Evans, former Scout and renowned entrepreneur, with an honorary award on 22 July 2010.</p> <p>For further information about the scheme visit- <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.scouts.org.uk/entrepreneur">www.scouts.org.uk/entrepreneur</a></p> <p><strong>ENDS</strong></p> <h3>For further information please contact:</h3> <p>Emma Harvey, HomeServe plc on 07976 635366<br /> Simon Carter, TSA on 07889 130 812</p> <h3>Notes to editors</h3> <p><strong>About Scouting:</strong></p> <ul> <li>The Scout Association was founded on 1st August 1907.</li> <li>Notable former Scout who are entrepreneurs include Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, Chris Evans, and Sir Paul McCartney</li> <li>Adventure is at the core of Scouting, and the Association passionately believes in helping their members fulfil their full physical, intellectual social and spiritual potentials by working in teams, learning by doing and thinking for themselves.</li> <li>Over 200 activities are offered by Scouting around the UK, made possible by the efforts of 90,000 voluntary adult leaders. This has helped make Scouting the largest co-educational youth Movement in the country.</li> <li>One of the challenges that the Scout Movement faces is finding more volunteers to plug the current gap. At present there are more than 33,500 young people on waiting lists.</li> <li>Worldwide Scouting has 28 million members both male and female and operates in nearly every country in the world.</li> </ul> <p><br class="clearFix" /></p>Homeserve & West Bromwich Albion go to the Premier League2562010000<h2>Homeserve &amp; West Bromwich Albion go to the Premier League</h2> <p>HOMESERVE &amp; WEST BROMWICH ALBION GO TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE - HomeServe Supports Local Talent with West Bromwich Albion sponsorship deal&ndash;</p> <p>HomeServe, the West Midlands based home emergency company has signed a deal as the shirt sponsor for West Bromwich Albion Football Club.</p> <p>The sponsorship sees HomeServe partner with a well established British club with a 132-year history. The club has enjoyed recent success returning to the Premier League after a strong 2009/2010 season where the team finished as runners up to clinch promotion from the Championship.</p> <p>HomeServe&rsquo;s marketing activity will communicate its new telephone number 0800 247 999 on the team kit &ndash; an opportunity for the business to use the shirts as a direct response media. The number will provide a one stop shop for consumers dealing with home emergencies and the shirt sponsorship offers high-profile visibility of the number.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, Chief Executive, HomeServe Membership commented:</strong> &ldquo;In choosing a sponsorship partner we felt it was important to acknowledge our West Midlands roots and so we were very pleased to&nbsp; be able to strike a deal with West Bromwich Albion and support the team over the next season.</p> <p>&ldquo;As well as supporting the team, we will of course do our best to support the fans too, ensuring they never miss a game as a result of a home emergency!&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Albion chief executive Mark Jenkins said:</strong> &ldquo;We are delighted to have HomeServe on board, particularly as this sponsorship brings together two highly-prominent West Midlands brands.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the current economic climate the club is pleased our shirts will feature a successful locally-based&nbsp; company with an international profile at the start of a new initiative. &ldquo;We can now start branding our new home and away kits with the HomeServe logo and sales dates will be announced shortly.&rdquo;</p> <p>HomeServe is a national home emergency company which offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 3.1 million customers in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p> <p>- Ends -</p> <p><strong>Note to Editors</strong></p> <p><strong>For more information please contact:</strong></p> <p>Emma Harvey, PR Director - 07976 635 366<br />Steve Hollyoak, Brand Director - 07792 589 670</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <ul class="redBulletMin" style="clear:both;"> <li>Every minute a Homeserve engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</li> <li>HomeServe offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 3.1 million customers in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</li> <li>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, the insurance offered by HomeServe grants access to a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</li> <li>HomeServe also offers a new tradesmen service, providing households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out a number of different jobs around the home.</li> <li>HomeServe tradesmen aim to turn up on time and will guarantee their work (subject to conditions) for a 12 month period afterwards. HomeServe ensures that the engineers hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p>'Good Life' Brits are Feeding Exploding Rat Population16122008000<h2>"Good Life" Brits are Feeding Exploding Rat Population</h2> <ul> <li>1.2million "Good Life" households keep chickens whilst 8.8m have a garden compost heap and 19.5 million households leave out food for birds and animals</li> <li>'Good Life Brits' <span class="uline">five times</span> more likely to see rats in or around their property</li> </ul> <p>The trend for urbanites to live the "Good Life" is fuelling an explosion in the rodent population according to HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts. According to the research, those living the 'Good Life' are almost five times more likely than their non-eco neighbours to complain of rats in or around their garden.</p> <p>Inspired by celebrities such as Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, millions of Brits are choosing to live the "Good Life", with 8.8 million recycling organic waste in a garden compost heap and some 1.2 million claiming to keep free range chickens at home<a href="#footnote-1">(1)</a>. New research from HomeServe also reveals that 19.5 million animal-loving British households regularly leave food out for animals, such as bread or seeds for the birds that visit their gardens.</p> <p>The research found that almost half (44%) of people who keep a compost heap or a chicken run have seen rats in or around their garden compared just 9 per cent of homeowners that haven&rsquo;t embraced the trend. HomeServe has warned Brits to check that their garden compost heaps weren&rsquo;t unwittingly providing a food source for rats and rodents.</p> <p>The HomeServe research found that some 6.5 million people claim to have sighted rats in their gardens and some 1.2 million even say they have seen rats inside their homes. Estimates of the rat population vary from 15 million to 100 million and the average pair of rats can produce up to 200 offspring in a year<a href="#footnote-2">(2)</a>. The relaxed approach of "Good Life" Britons will do little to help the problem. More worrying is the fact that one in two people has not reported the presence of rats to their local council or pest controller.</p> <p>The company fears that an increase in green organic living could help to fuel an exploding rat population as rodents move out of their nests, which will become colder and damper in the change of seasons, and look to seek warmer and drier conditions.</p> <p>HomeServe anticipates a doubling of enquiries relating to rats over the coming winter months and warns householders who leave food and waste outside their premises to be alert to any unwanted rodent visitors. Some 4.1 million households claim to leave rubbish containing food waste in bin liners outside their home.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO, HomeServe Membership commented: "We are seeing an increase in the number of call-outs to deal with rats. There are a number of climate factors that are behind this increase, including warmer winters and wetter summers. However, one of the main factors fuelling an increase in the rat population are the habits of humans &ndash; many of whom are unwittingly providing a helpful source of food through exposed refuse, and an increase in garden bird feeders and compost heaps.</p> <p>"It really is essential to report the presence of rats or other pests. Don&rsquo;t think that they will just go away of their own accord; the longer you leave reporting any sighting, the more visits it will take to get rid of them. Indeed as the winter weather sets in then homeowners are more likely to see rats move into their home or surroundings as they seek refuge from the cold, wet climate."</p> <p>People should check with their local council to see if they offer a service to remove unwanted pests. If not, HomeServe, which has tradesmen available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, offers pest control services as part of its emergency home insurance policies or as a standalone job service.</p> <p><a id="footnote-1" name="footnote-1"></a>(1) ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,038 adults aged 18+ online between 7th &ndash; 9th November 2008. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a>.</p> <p><a id="footnote-2" name="footnote-2"></a>(2) Daily Mail, 28th October, 2008</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark / Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 0207 282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p> Transfer of Private Sewers to Water Companies15122008000<h2>Transfer of Private Sewers to Water Companies</h2> <p>The Government has announced its decision today (15 December) to transfer ownership of private sewers and lateral drains* to the statutory Water and Sewerage Companies in England and Wales.</p> <p>HomeServe welcomes the announcement, which brings clarity for homeowners, their insurers, local authorities and sewerage companies and clearly divides responsibility for drains and sewers inside and outside property boundaries in the event that a problem arises. Homeowners will continue to have responsibility for problems with drains and sewers which occur within the boundaries of their property whilst the water companies will be responsible for drains outside of the property.</p> <p>HomeServe provides plumbing and drainage policies to 1.8 million customers in the UK. In 99.5 per cent of HomeServe's claims, problems to the external drains and sewers occur within the perimeter of the property.</p> <p>HomeServe policies are also essential if people want their plumbing and drains covered in the event of an emergency.</p> <p>* Lateral drains are those pipes running from the property boundary to the main sewer that connect to the public network.</p> <ul> <li>HomeServe covers householders for emergency repairs to a property.s underground external drainage - up to &pound;4,000 per claim with up to 2 claims per year.</li> <li>This policy also covers policy holders for emergency repairs to the internal plumbing &amp; drainage - up to &pound;2,000 per claim with up to 2 claims per year.</li> <li>The comprehensive plumbing and drainage policy is priced at &pound;79.99 per annum.</li> </ul> <p><br class="clearFix" /></p>Dangers of Tradesmen 'Cash Economy' Exposed in New Report15102008000<h2>Dangers of Tradesmen 'Cash Economy' Exposed in New Report</h2> <ul> <li>A quarter of tradesmen will offer a 'cash price', leaving homeowners with a lack of recourse</li> <li>Some 2.26 million cash payers believe they've paid for a substandard job</li> <li>Less than half of substandard cash jobs are resolved satisfactorily when the customer approached the tradesman for resolution</li> </ul> <p>HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts, warns British homeowners that they risk being left high and dry if they offer to pay cash to tradesmen in return for a discount.</p> <p>The caution comes on the back of recent research by HomeServe that reveals that one in four (27%) of tradesmen surveyed were prepared to accept cash, with plumbers (50%) most likely to do so, followed by locksmiths (29%) and electricians (27%). HomeServe is concerned that the thriving cash economy can leave consumers vulnerable and without any recourse or proof that they even did the work, in the event of a job not meeting consumers' expectations.</p> <p>Some 2.26 million people who state they always pay cash for tradesmen jobs believe they have paid for a job that they later believed to be incomplete, substandard or which later proved to be dangerous and had to be remedied. Almost one in six (16%) of people who paid in cash and experienced a botched job approached a tradesman for compensation; 9% approached trading standards and 10% approached a trade/professional body.</p> <p>Those people who always pay in cash would also appear to be at a disadvantage when seeking compensation, with less than a half (48%) claiming to be satisfied that the matter was resolved when they approached the errant tradesman for compensation; this compares unfavourably with the national average of two in three (67%) who said they were satisfied when seeking compensation from the tradesman.</p> <p>With Brits having forked out a collective &pound;8 billion to rectify botched jobs around the home in the past two years and two in five (43%) of people saying they had encountered a problem with a tradesman they'd employed, the risk posed by not having a paper trail in place should not be underestimated.</p> <p>The research revealed that one in seven (14%) people admit to having paid for a job completed by tradesmen that they believed to be either incomplete, not up to the standard promised or which later proved to be dangerous and meant that it had to be rectified.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership</strong>, said: "In the current environment it's quite understandable that people may look to barter and get discounts on any items or services that they buy. However, we would just warn homeowners to make sure that they don&rsquo;t leave themselves without a leg to stand on, should they pay for a job in cash that they later find needs rectifying."</p> <p>When asked, only 62% of tradesmen in the HomeServe study were prepared to guarantee their work. The least likely tradesmen to offer a guarantee were glaziers where only a quarter (23%) did. This is compared with 96% of pest controllers who would offer a guarantee. Plumbers (45%) were less willing to guarantee their work than electricians (73%).</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim concluded:</strong> "Our new service takes all the worry out of home repairs, maintenance and emergencies. You'll get one price that is fixed upfront, a quick response and the work is guaranteed for 12 months. Just make one call to us and we'll take care of everything."</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <p><strong>* Research conducted by ICM and Citigate Dewe Rogerson in September 2008</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark / Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 0207 282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain</p>Britain's 'Big Freeze' Has Led To 78% Increase In Home Emergency Claims For Damaged Pipes812009000<h2>Britain's 'Big Freeze' Has Led To 78% Increase In Home Emergency Claims For Damaged Pipes</h2> <ul> <li>HomesServe sees some 2,665 pipe-related emergency claims in the first seven days of January <a href="#footnote-1">(1)</a> </li> </ul> <p>In the first week of January home repair and maintenance experts HomeServe has reported an increase of 78% on last year's figures on the number of customers experiencing problems with household pipes, as temperatures have plummeted to below freezing across the UK.</p> <p>During the 'big freeze' over the past week HomeServe has been dealing with the equivalent of 380 calls per day relating to blocked, burst and frozen pipes. Pipe-related insurance claims reached 2,665 in the first seven days of January. This is well over double the average number of claims for each week in the previous month (December 2008), which were around 1,000.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO, HomeServe Membership said:</p> <p>"The continuously low temperatures over the past week have put a massive strain on household's pipes across Britain and thousands are not withstanding the pressure of the ice. Despite huge numbers of calls and claims we are coping well with the increase in demand this month.</p> <p>"It is important to be mindful in very cold weather that pipes can freeze and burst easily. Indeed the relatively warm winters in recent years have led us to forget this. With central heating systems relying on water too, a burst or frozen pipe in winter needs to be dealt with quickly and by a professional."</p> <p>HomeServe advises homeowners to take the following precautions to prevent frozen pipes:</p> <ul> <li>Insulate your loft, the sides of your water tanks and your pipes. </li> <li>Open the loft trap door on cold days to let heat in. </li> <li>If you're away for a while, then ask a friend or relative to check on your home and make sure pipes haven't burst or frozen. </li> <li>Re-washer dripping taps because if they freeze they'll block the pipe. </li> <li>In very cold weather the heating will need to be on low, or set to come on a couple of times a day, especially if you're going away. Most modern boilers have a frost protection thermostat, which turns on automatically if the temperature drops to a level that will cause your pipes to freeze. </li> <li>If you have got a frozen pipe, don't defrost it with a blow torch or heat gun, just gently thaw with a hot water bottle. </li> </ul> <p>In the event of one of your pipes bursting, the following actions should be followed:</p> <ul> <li>Turn off the water supply at the main stop tap and drain the system by turning on your cold taps. </li> <li>Turn off water heating systems and then drain the hot water taps. </li> <li>Don't forget to turn off electrics if they are near the leak. </li> <li>Call a professional to repair the damage </li> </ul> <p>HomeServe offers plumbing cover for houses in its single, multi-cover and comprehensive Home Emergency Insurance policies.</p> <ul> <li>Single Cover from &pound;3.37 per month </li> <li>Multi-cover from &pound;7.75 per month </li> <li>Comprehensive cover from &pound;10.25 per month </li> </ul> <p>For further information on HomeServe's Home Emergency Insurance please visit our <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/insurance">insurance policy</a> section or call 0800 073 3111.</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <p id="footnote-1">(1) Analysis of HomeServe pipe claims figures</p> <p>For more information please contact:</p> <p>Holly Clark / Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 0207 282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>No Cute Disney Rat-ta-too-ee As Britain's Rat Population Explodes 1512009000<h2>No Cute Disney Rat-ta-too-ee As Britain's Rat Population Explodes</h2> <ul> <li>Dramatic rise in Britons turning gardens into small holdings has created ideal conditions for rats to breed </li> <li>The 19.5(1) million households are creating a free all-you-can-eat buffet for rats by leaving food for birds and animals </li> <li>6.5 million Britons have seen rats in their gardens and 1.2 million have seen a rat in their home </li> <li>Rats gnawing through concrete, steel and brickwork causes thousands of pounds worth of damage to British homes each year </li> </ul> <p>Urbanites inspired by the likes of Gordon Ramsey and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall are transforming their gardens into small holdings and fuelling an explosion in Britain's rodent population according to HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts. The research found that almost half (44%) of the 8.8 million Britons with a compost heap and 1.2 million who claim to keep chickens have witnessed rats in or around their garden, compared just nine per cent of homeowners that haven't embraced the trend for green living.</p> <p>HomeServe's research found that some 6.5 million people claim to have sighted rats in their gardens and some 1.2 million even say they have seen rats inside their homes. Estimates of the rat population vary from 15 million to 100 million and the average pair of rats can produce up to 200 offspring in a year. Worryingly, just one in two people reported the presence of rats to their local council or pest controller.</p> <p>Unlike the cuddly Disney characters featured in the hit movie Ratatouille, rats are an urban menace causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to properties each year. Rats can gnaw through concrete and steel, destroying brickwork and chew through household electricity cables and sewer pipes.</p> <p>HomeServe's research reveals that 19.5 million British households regularly leave food outside their home, such as seed or bread for birds, all of which provides a tasty attraction for hungry rodents. Some 4.1 million households claim to leave rubbish containing food waste in exposed bin liners outside their home.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO, HomeServe Membership commented: "The disneyfication of rats into cute, cuddly characters is far removed from reality. Rats spread disease and cause significant damage to properties. Householders are attracting rodents that can chew through brick walls, pipes and wiring resulting in large repair bills".</p> <p>"One of the main factors fuelling an increase in the rat population is the habits of humans - many of whom are unwittingly providing a helpful source of food through exposed refuse, and an increase in garden bird feeders and compost heaps."</p> <p>People should check with their local council to see if they offer a service to remove unwanted pests. If not, HomeServe, which has tradesmen available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, offers pest control services as part of its emergency home insurance policies or as a standalone job service.</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <p>ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,038 adults aged 18+ online between 7th &ndash; 9th November 2008. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark / Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 0207 282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe launches home magazine332009000<h2>HomeServe launches home magazine</h2> <h3>First copies of magazine landing on customers' doormats during March 2009</h3> <p>HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts, today announced it is launching a new customer magazine. The free magazine, which focuses on everything from home repairs, maintenance and improvements, will be sent to 600,000 of HomeServe's home emergency policy customers from the beginning of March.</p> <p>The new magazine will be packed with handy advice and tips for homeowners. The first issue includes a feature on how households can make great savings on energy bills, as well as offering advice and quick tips on how to deal with everyday household problems such as "how to unblock a kitchen sink".</p> <p>The magazine will carry an "Ask the experts" section with a panel of guest commentators, including George Clarke, the architecture and home design expert who hosts Channel 4's The Home Show. In addition to helpful features, the magazine will contain exciting prize competitions. The first issue offers readers the chance to win a home makeover worth &pound;3,000, where the lucky winner will be able to choose from a vast range of home improvements, including painting, decorating, plastering, plumbing and more.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership Ltd, said: "We are very excited about launching our new customer magazine. At a time when people are improving and not moving, we feel that a new home related magazine is something our customers will welcome".</p> <p>"HomeServe's vision is to become the first place people turn to when it comes to fixing, maintaining and looking after their homes. We believe the new magazine will help us reach this goal, offering customers advice and insight and helping them to look after their homes."</p> <p>The magazine is being produced by FuturePlus, the consumer publishing agency, who has designed the magazine in conjunction with HomeServe.</p> <p>Jayne Caple, Director of FuturePlus UK, said: "This was a fantastic project for our team. The mix of HomeServe's unrivalled knowledge and our track record in producing customer magazines has created a compelling read. HomeServe members can read and get the most from their homes, whilst getting the most from their policy - a must in challenging economic times."</p> <p>HomeServe recently ran a fully integrated marketing campaign in the West Midlands, following the production of its first television advert. The campaign was for HomeServe's 'job service', offering homeowners access to its 5,000 engineers who cover over 500 jobs in the home.</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark / Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 0207 282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.HomeServe.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Britons plunge further into debt as the nation spends £1.9 billion tackling home disasters1332009000<h2>HomeServe Emergencies Index: Britons plunge further into debt as the nation spends &pound;1.9 billion tackling home disasters</h2> <ul> <li>Average household affected in the last three months has been left with a &pound;235 repair bill</li> <li>1.7 million households have been forced into debt to fix their home emergency nightmares </li> <li>Plumbing problems top the league table of domestic disasters</li> <li>Londoners the most affected by domestic heating problems</li> </ul> <p>New research by HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts, reveals Britons have spent &pound;1.9 billion tackling household emergencies, including broken boilers and burst pipes in the last three months. The extreme weather conditions that ravaged the country in January have resulted in a huge repair bill for British householders. Households that experienced a home emergency were forced to pay an average of &pound;235 on repairs.</p> <p>More than one in 10 (14%) British households encountered plumbing problems, such as leaking toilets, showers and sinks, in the last three months. Millions of Britons have also been left freezing in Arctic conditions, with 9% of households struggling with broken boilers and a further 9% shivering in the face of failing central heating systems and broken radiators. Almost one and a half million households have been left cursing high winds as they have been forced to fix leaking roofs and broken tiles.</p> <p>HomeServe's research reveals that one million households were forced into debt to fix their home emergency nightmares. A third of Britons were forced to draw on their savings to meet the cost of unexpected home emergencies. Just 15% of households had adequate insurance to cover the cost of repairing leaking sinks and blown up boilers. Over 400,000 British households are still living in a domestic emergency zone having not been able to afford a tradesperson to fix the problem.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: "The extreme weather conditions experienced over the last three months have wreaked havoc on British homes. Dramatic fluctuations in temperatures have seen above average incidents of burst pipes and leaks. Worryingly, many Britons have been unable to resolve these problems despite repairs being urgently required because they do not have sufficient funds set aside to employ a tradesman to fix the issue".</p> <p>"Householders already feeling the pressure with tighter home budgets could face unexpected bills running into hundreds or thousands of pounds. One way they can secure peace of mind and mitigate against the financial cost of urgent home repairs is to sign up for home emergency insurance, which will cover the cost of fixing the problem and ensure it is completed by an approved tradesperson."</p> <p>Table One: Home emergencies faced by UK householders in the last three months</p> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Home emergenciesth</th> <th class="wid40">Percentage of UK households affected</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Plumbing problems (toilet, shower leaking etc)</td> <td>14%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Boiler breakdown / disruption</td> <td>9%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Other central heating / radiator problems</td> <td>9%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Leaking roof / loose roof tiles</td> <td>6%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Burst / blocked pipes</td> <td>3%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Infestation of pests</td> <td>3%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Problems with sewage</td> <td>2%</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source <a href="#footnote-1">(1)</a></p> <p>Home emergencies have put public health at risk, with over half a million Britons encountering infestations of pests and problems with domestic sewage. Infestations of pests including rodents and insects have affected 3% of British households and a further 2% have been affected by the nose crinkling problem of sewage.</p> <p>On a regional basis (see table two below) almost one in five households in the North East has been suffering from plumbing problems, closely followed by Yorks &amp; Humber (18%). Homes in London have been particularly badly affected by heating problems with 13% of households suffering from boiler problems and a further 12% encountering other home heating issues.</p> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">&nbsp;</th> <th class="wid12">Plumbing problems (toilet, shower leaking etc)</th> <th class="wid12">Boiler breakdown / disruption</th> <th class="wid12">Other central heating / radiator problems</th> <th class="wid12">Leaking roof / loose roof tiles</th> <th class="wid12">Burst / blocked pipes</th> <th class="wid12">Infestation of pests</th> <th class="wid12">Problems with sewage</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Scotland</th> <td>10%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>13%</td> <td>8%</td> <td>3%</td> <td>3%</td> <td>2%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">North East</th> <td>19%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>6%</td> <td>1%</td> <td>3%</td> <td>n/a</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">North West</th> <td>14%</td> <td>11%</td> <td>5%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>2%</td> <td>2%</td> <td>2%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Yorks &amp; Humber</th> <td>18%</td> <td>5%</td> <td>8%</td> <td>8%</td> <td>2%</td> <td>3%</td> <td>3%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">West Midlands</th> <td>13%</td> <td>12%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>2%</td> <td>4%</td> <td>1%</td> <td>3%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Wales</th> <td>14%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>5%</td> <td>3%</td> <td>1%</td> <td>2%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Eastern England</th> <td>16%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>11%</td> <td>5%</td> <td>4%</td> <td>2%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">London</th> <td>16%</td> <td>13%</td> <td>12%</td> <td>8%</td> <td>3%</td> <td>5%</td> <td>1%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">South east</th> <td>9%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>5%</td> <td>4%</td> <td>4%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">South west</th> <td>13%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>10%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>6%</td> <td>4%</td> <td>3%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">East Midlands</th> <td>14%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>3%</td> <td>2%</td> <td>3%</td> <td>n/a</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source <a href="#footnote-1">(1)</a></p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <p id="footnote-1">(1) ICM interviewed a random sample of 2024 adults aged 18+ from its online panel 23rd - 25th January 2008. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <p>Calculation for &pound;19 billion figure:</p> <ul> <li>Households that have experienced a home emergency in the last three months: 8215000 </li> <li>Average cost of fixing a home emergency in the period: &pound;235 </li> <li>Cumulative cost UK households for the last three months: (8215000*235) = 1930525000 or &pound;1.9 billion </li> </ul> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark / Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 0207 282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Walsall's HomeServe shares its experience at national apprenticeship event 1732009000<h2>Walsall's HomeServe shares its experience at national apprenticeship event</h2> <p>Employees from HomeServe, the Walsall-based home repair and maintenance experts will be attending the 'Making Things Happen' DCSF (Department for Children Schools and Families) Round Table Breakfast Meeting at the ICC in Birmingham on Thursday 19th March.</p> <p>Apprenticeships are a big focus for the government and the event will include top celebrity businessman and entrepreneur, Sir Alan Sugar, and Secretaries of Statex Ed Balls (DCSF) and John Denham (Department for Innovation Universities &amp; Skills) who will discuss the advantages for businesses of offering apprenticeships.</p> <p>With a growing apprentice workforce, HomeServe is keen to support the event that will provide an informal forum for apprentices, employers and providers to share views and advice on apprenticeships.</p> <p>HomeServe is committed to the apprenticeship model for the education and development of its workforce. Approximately 10% of HomeServe's workforce is currently participating in an apprenticeship or formal training scheme and the company has plans to extend apprenticeship recruitment. In 2010 it will expand its programme by over 85%, creating approximately 75 new apprenticeships per year compared to around 40 a year today.</p> <p>Currently the majority of recruitment into HomeServe's Glass and Locks business is for apprentices, rather than experienced engineers. Moving forward HomeServe anticipates it will continue to recruit over 30 glazing apprentices a year. HomeServe has also recently expanded the recruitment of trainees into its Warranty support business, HomeServe at Home.</p> <p>Richard Harpin, CEO, HomeServe plc said: "Apprenticeship schemes enable us to train up skilled workers who will help us establish and maintain a high quality workforce for tomorrow. We are therefore keen to increase our apprentice recruitment over the next few years, and improve training and accreditation to make us a desirable employer for apprentices. This event is a perfect opportunity for HomeServe to hear and share intelligence on apprenticeships, working with other employers to improve the training and employment we offer."</p> <p>HomeServe is also looking to provide better facilities and accreditation for its apprentices and has built a specialised training facility in Banbury for its Plumbing and Drainage business that will be ready for plumbing apprentices to use in 2010. The company is also working to gain Modern Apprenticeship accreditation for employees in its claims centres. With over 400 colleagues eligible to participate, this will be another major step forward in the accreditation of our training programmes.</p> <p><strong>- ends -</strong></p> <h3>For more information or to arrange for a photographer to attend, please contact:</h3> <p>Emma Harvey<br /> HomeServe<br /> 0207 374 3527 / 07976 635366</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Mrs Dally gets special treatment as HomeServe's 2,500th customer2532009000<h2>MRS DALLY GETS SPECIAL TREATMENT AS HOMESERVE'S 2,500TH CUSTOMER</h2> <h3>HomeServe pulls out all the stops for local West Midlands resident</h3> <p>It's not every day that you get a call from a company offering you 10 hours' worth of free handyman time from a score of qualified tradesmen willing to cater to your every DIY request, but that's what happened to Mrs Dally today.</p> <p>The West Midlands resident has lived in Daventry for 11 of her 70 years and had called a HomeServe Handyman to remove a fireplace and some large furniture from her property, as well as plaster boarding around a socket.</p> <p>Mrs Dally found herself the 2,500th customer of HomeServe's new home repair, maintenance and improvement service, which launched late in 2008. She was rewarded with 'the full DIY works' as HomeServe pledged their best handymen to spend up to 10 hours repairing and fixing jobs around her home - all jobs done for no cost.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: "Our service takes all the worry out of home repairs, maintenance and emergencies. Since we launched in the area we have taken thousands of calls and we wanted to reward one of our customers to celebrate the success of the scheme."</p> <p>"Mrs Dally is our 2,500th customer and although she just wanted some furniture removed, we hope to solve all the repair jobs that needed looking at in her home to improve her quality of life. Hopefully she will feel more relaxed in her newly refreshed home."</p> <p>HomeServe launched its new home emergency service towards the end of last year. Homeowners in the West Midlands can now call on the UK's first ever fully comprehensive home repairs and maintenance service, with access to over 500 different jobs via a network of thousands of specialist tradesmen, all of whom are quality checked* and capable of resolving almost any repair or job, no matter how small or large, in the home.</p> <p>The service ensures that customers are quoted a price for any job before work is started and they can also choose a time and day that best suit them. HomeServe guarantees all its work for a 12-month period, offering customers' peace of mind**.</p> <p>The HomeServe telephone number is 0800 293031.</p> <p><strong>- ends -</strong></p> <p>*All contractors joining the HomeServe network go through a rigorous application and approval process which requires them to complete a number of documents and supply evidence of insurance and competence where required by the law (e.g. Gas Safe Register registration).</p> <p>**where we treat a pest infestation or blocked drain, we cannot guarantee that the infestation or blockage won't return.</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Billy Partiridge / Sarah Rowanbr<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7282 2917 or 020 7282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe hails success of west Midlands Launch with 2,500th customer2532009000<h2>HOMESERVE HAILS SUCCESS OF WEST MIDLANDS LAUNCH WITH 2,500TH CUSTOMER</h2> <p><strong>HomeServe newly launched West Midlands home repairs, maintenance and improvements business reaches 2,500 customer milestone</strong></p> <p><strong>100 additional jobs created in HomeServe's Walsall office</strong></p> <p>Walsall-based HomeServe, providers of home emergency insurance, announces that the West Midlands launch of its brand new home services, repair and improvement service has proved to be a huge success. Customer demand for the new service has outstripped expectations.</p> <p>The company also recently announced that it would be bringing an additional 100 jobs to its site in Walsall.</p> <p>The HomeServe call centre at Walsall has received over 26,000 enquiries about the service since its launch and booked its 2,500th job last week. The website has received over 250,000 visitors since launch.</p> <p>The service, launched in autumn 2008, provides West Midlands' householders with direct access to thousands of specialist tradesmen who are quality checked and capable of resolving almost any problem in the home. The service provides customers with an upfront price for any job before work commences, and call-out times are fixed at the outset. HomeServe also guarantee all its work for a 12-month period, offering customers' peace of mind. **</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: "We're delighted with how well our new service has been received by householders in the West Midlands. At the outset we were looking to fill a gap in the market and provide a service that takes all the worry out of home repairs, maintenance and improvements."</p> <p>"It is particularly gratifying to see that we've been able to grow our business here in the West Midlands in spite of the challenging economic conditions, with the creation of 100 new jobs within our Walsall site. We're proud of our West Midlands heritage and our decision to launch our new service here has been more than vindicated. We look forward to expanding the service so that other households outside of the West Midlands region can take advantage of our team of highly trained engineers and tradesmen."</p> <p>With over 4,000 directly employed and subcontracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24-hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>The HomeServe telephone number is 0800 293031.</p> <p><strong>- ends -</strong></p> <p>*All contractors joining the HomeServe network go through a rigorous application and approval process which requires them to complete a number of documents and supply evidence of insurance and competence where required by the law (e.g. Gas Safe Register registration).</p> <p>**where we treat a pest infestation or blocked drain, we cannot guarantee that the infestation or blockage won't return</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Billy Partiridge / Sarah Rowan <br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7282 2917 or 020 7282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Alpha Heating Innovations Awards HomeServe Five-Year Contract242009000<h1>Alpha Heating Innovations Awards HomeServe Five-Year Contract</h1> <ul> <li>HomeServe strengthens its position in the boiler industry as a key warranty service provider </li> </ul> <p><strong>2 April 2009</strong>, HomeServe, the home emergency service provider, announces that it has signed a five-year contract with Alpha Heating Innovations, one of the UK's leading boiler and heating supplies manufacturers. The deal will see HomeServe deliver warranty marketing and administration services for the manufacturer's portfolio of high efficiency boilers.</p> <p>This latest agreement with a major UK manufacturer further cements HomeServe's strong presence in the boiler marketplace. HomeServe has worked with manufacturers Ideal Boilers and Vaillant since 2002 and 2004 respectively to provide warranty services for their products.</p> <p>Bryn Hamer, Business Development Director, HomeServe Membership: "The deal with Alpha underlines our standing in the boiler warranty service market as a major provider of boiler warranty services. We now work with most of the major boiler manufacturers and boast the capability to deliver a first-class service for our both our clients and their boiler customers through Alpha's network of Gas Safe registered boiler engineers."</p> <p>Alpha has a 13,000 strong UK warranty customer base and has established itself as a leading manufacturer of high efficiency condensing boilers that are more than 90% efficient. These help reduce the amount of CO2 produced in the home and also keep household fuel bills down to a minimum.</p> <p>Alpha's nationwide network of Gas Safe registered engineers assure a fast and safe boiler service to ensure that household boilers are repaired as quickly as possible in the event of an unexpected boiler emergency. All warranty and policy holders get a 24-hour claim line and a promise of a fast response to help guarantee all permanent repairs for the lifetime of the cover. The boiler service is also carried out between 9 - 5 at a time that suits the customer.</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 1049 / 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Over two million households haven't had their boiler serviced for 3 years or more842009000<h2>Over two million households haven't had their boiler serviced for 3 years or more</h2> <ul> <li>Householders need to ensure that any gas engineer is newly registered with a Gas Safe certificate</li> <li>HomeServe's gas boiler cover (which includes an annual service by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer) costs as little as &pound;16 a month*</li> </ul> <p><strong>Wednesday 8th April 2009 - </strong>Millions of British households are putting themselves at risk by not getting their boilers serviced regularly. New findings from HomeServe, the home repair and emergency experts, have revealed that some 2.17 million British households (more than one in 10 of all homes with a gas boiler) haven't had their boiler serviced for three years or more, and a further 1.81 million don't know or can't remember when it was last serviced (1). This is despite recommendations that all gas boilers should undergo an annual service, which must be carried out by a registered Gas Safe technician.</p> <p>Over half (52%) of the 7.36 million homes with boilers that haven't been serviced in the past year admit to having no carbon monoxide detector (1).</p> <p>HomeServe's gas engineers are all Gas Safe registered. It is illegal for a non-registered engineer to attempt to replace parts or service a boiler. HomeServe reminds householders to check that all tradesmen can show them their Gas Safe certification and ID. From 1st April 2009 all gas engineers switched from being Corgi registered to Capita's new Gas Safe registration.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO, HomeServe Membership, commented: "When you're busy it's so easy to forget about jobs such as getting your boiler serviced, particularly when your hot water and central heating seem to be working fine. However, it really is important to have your boiler regularly serviced, not just for the safety purposes but also because a regular clean and service helps maintain the life of your boiler."</p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <p>*&pound;16 a month covers 11&frac12; months of cover, as there is a two week exclusion period when purchasing the policy.</p> <p>(1)The consumer omnibus research was conducted by GfK NOP. 1,000 people were interviewed between 13th - 15th March 2009.</p> <p>HomeServe recently ran a fully integrated marketing campaign in the West Midlands, following the production of its first television advert. The campaign was for HomeServe's 'job service', offering homeowners access to its 5,000 engineers who cover over 500 jobs in the home.</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a Homeserve engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe Improvements Index: Britons invest £23 billion in a desperate attempt to shore up property values2942009000<h2>HomeServe Improvements Index: Britons invest &pound;23 billion in a desperate attempt to shore up property values</h2> <ul> <li>The most popular home improvement is painting and decorating, with almost a third of Britons (31%) looking to spruce up their property </li> <li>Over 130,000 households invested between &pound;25,000 - &pound;50,000 on ambitious home renovations in the last three months </li> <li>Householders in the South East are the most likely to have embarked on domestic painting and decorating projects over this period </li> </ul> <p>New research by HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts, reveals Britons invested around &pound;23 billion in improvements for their properties over the last three months. Over 130,000 households embarked on ambitious home renovations in the last three months costing between &pound;25,000 and &pound;50,000.</p> <p>HomeServe has identified two factors it believes are fuelling demand for home improvements. Firstly, many Britons are desperately trying to shore up falling property values by upgrading their home. Secondly those Britons either unable, or unwilling to move, in the current depressed housing market are investing in improvements to their existing property to upgrade their standard of living rather than move property. Homeowners seeking peace of mind when completing their own renovations can take out Home Emergency cover, which will ensure a professional tradesman is available, should they accidentally drill through a water pipe or hammer into a soil pipe.</p> <!-- Tables --> <h3>Table One: Home improvements made in the last three months (1)</h3> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Home improvements </th> <th class="wid40">Percentage of UK households making these changes </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Painting / decorating</td> <td>31%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Laying new flooring / carpets</td> <td>14%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Installing new lighting</td> <td>9%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Bathroom improvements</td> <td>6%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Kitchen improvements</td> <td>5%</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source <a href="#footnote-1">(1)</a></p> <p>The most popular home improvement in the last three months is painting and decorating, with almost a third of Britons sprucing up their property. Over one in 10 households have installed new flooring such as tiles, laminated boarding and carpets. Nearly one in 10 households installed new lighting in their property, such as including spotlights, external security lights and halogen uplighters and downlighters.</p> <p>One in 20 (6%) households made improvements to their bathroom in the last three months, installing luxuries such as heated towel rails and jacuzzi baths. A similar number of households (5%) made improvements to their kitchens, potentially to improve the sale value and desirability of the property, or to improve quality of life in the home.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: "Many Britons are investing in their properties in an attempt to insure against falling property values. In a depressed market many homeowners are taking extra care to make their property stand out amongst their peers. Homeowners looking to ride out the depressed market are looking to improve their home, redecorating and investing in kitchen and bathroom upgrades to increase their enjoyment of the home.</p> <p>"Homeowners often find attempting their own DIY is a false economy, as bodged jobs require professional help to put right. Utilising approved and vetted tradesmen, such as those employed by HomeServe, can help Britons ensure they do not invalidate their home insurance policies if a problem occurs."</p> <p>On a regional basis (see table two below) householders living in the South East are most likely (37%) to have invested in painting and decorating projects in the last three months. The Welsh have been the biggest investors in bathroom improvements, with one in 10 (10%) upgrading their facilities.</p> <h3>Table Two regional analysis: Home improvements in the last three months (1)</h3> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">&nbsp;</th> <th class="wid15">Painting / decorating </th> <th class="wid15">Laying new flooring / carpets </th> <th class="wid15">Installing new lighting</th> <th class="wid15">Bathroom improvements</th> <th class="wid15">Kitchen improvements</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Scotland</th> <td>30%</td> <td>12%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>5%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">North East</th> <td>26%</td> <td>13%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>2%</td> <td>5%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">North West</th> <td>33%</td> <td>14%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>5%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Yorks &amp; Humber</th> <td>33%</td> <td>14%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>6%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">West Midlands</th> <td>28%</td> <td>10%</td> <td>6%</td> <td>7%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Wales</th> <td>34%</td> <td>17%</td> <td>14%</td> <td>10%</td> <td>4%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Eastern England</th> <td>34%</td> <td>19%</td> <td>12%</td> <td>5%</td> <td>6%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">London</th> <td>24%</td> <td>11%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>5%</td> <td>2%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">South east</th> <td>37%</td> <td>16%</td> <td>8%</td> <td>6%</td> <td>8%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">South west</th> <td>30%</td> <td>15%</td> <td>9%</td> <td>8%</td> <td>8%</td> </tr> <tr> <th class="alignleft">East Midlands</th> <td>27%</td> <td>17%</td> <td>8%</td> <td>4%</td> <td>3%</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source <a href="#footnote-1">(1)</a></p> <h3>Notes to Editors</h3> <p id="footnote-1">(1) ICM interviewed a random sample of 2024 adults aged 18+ from its online panel 23rd - 25th January 2008. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>DIY Injuries Cost Midlands Businesses £14.6 Million A Year2752009000<h2>DIY INJURIES COST MIDLANDS BUSINESSES &pound;14.6 MILLION A YEAR</h2> <ul> <li>One in 16 DIY accidents results in employees taking time off work or needing bed rest </li> <li>HomeServe has launched a service in the West Midlands that can solve odd DIY jobs around the house from just &pound;30 an hour </li> </ul> <p>Businesses in the Midlands could be counting the cost of overzealous DIY projects to the tune of &pound;14.6 million a year in lost productivity, according to HomeServe.</p> <p>The home repair and maintenance experts say that some 2.25 million people injure themselves in Great Britain every year by taking on troublesome home improvements and around one in sixteen cases results in an employee taking time off work.</p> <p>According to HomeServe, every year around 30,600 people in the Midlands are forced to take time off work or are confined to their beds because of a DIY accident.</p> <p>In total HomeServe estimates that these lay offs cost companies across the region as much as &pound;14.6 million in idle labour costs as employees rest back injuries or keep weight off their feet at home instead of being at work.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said:</strong> "Business owners are used to conceding productivity levels for all kinds of reasons, but losing labour thanks to a botched DIY job is probably the hardest to swallow. Company bosses throughout the region might be little more nervous every time a bank holiday comes around."</p> <p>According to HomeServe - which offers its own handyman service in the West Midlands &ndash; the most common injury caused by a DIY disaster is cutting yourself with a saw or sharp edge, followed by lifting a heavy object and tripping over wires or cables.</p> <p>The parts of the body most vulnerable to a DIY mishap are your hands and fingers (cited by 40% of respondents who had had a DIY accident), followed by back (26%) and legs (16%).</p> <p>Jon Florsheim added: "The problem is that sometimes our confidence in DIY is not matched with our ability and when accidents happen they can be serious. Many of these mishaps are caused by not preparing properly for the task in hand or having the ability or tools to tackle it safely. As a result, there are thousands of DIY accidents just waiting to happen across the region.</p> <p>Most people who use our handyman service end up asking why they ever bothered trying to do things themselves in the first place. You can&rsquo;t put a price on peace of mind &ndash; but business owners certainly can put a price on lost productivity."</p> <p>The HomeServe figures show that the majority of DIY disasters require simple first aid to put right but in many instances the consequences are more severe.</p> <p>HomeServe's handyman service is free to call and uses only qualified HomeServe approved tradesmen. The company will always quote the full price of the job before work starts and guarantees all its work for 12 months.</p> <h3>Notes to Editors</h3> <p id="footnote-1">(1) ICM interviewed a random sample of 2051 adults aged 18+ online between 24th &ndash; 26th April 2009. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <ul> Calculation for &pound;14.6 million headline figure: <li>Working respondents that have taken time off work / required home rest in the Midlands after a DIY accident in past 5 years: 153,000 </li> <li>Therefore spread over 5 years = 30,600 per year </li> <li>Average weekly wage = &pound;479 (ONS) </li> <li>30,600 x &pound;479 = &pound;14,657,400 </li> </ul> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Flat housing market sees rise of the "reluctant landlord"1662009000<h2>Flat housing market sees rise of the "reluctant landlord"</h2> <ul> <li>Three in four letting agents claim to have seen a rise in the number of first time landlords over the past 12 months<a href="#footnote_1">(1)</a></li> <li>One in three landlords has been forced to rent out their property due to current economic climate</li> <li>HomeServe provides hassle-free Landlord's Home Emergency Cover, which from as little as &pound;5 month, removes any financial burden associated with rectifying urgent problems with rental properties</li> </ul> <p>New research published by HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts, reveals a rise in the number of "reluctant landlords", property owners who have been forced into renting out their property as a result of the current economic environment and flat housing market.</p> <p>The survey of more than 100 letting agents throughout England reveals that three-quarters (75%) have witnessed an increase in the number of first-time landlords over the past 12 months. Furthermore agents believe that a third of these first-time landlords are "reluctant landlords" - forced into renting out their home because they have been unable to sell their property and they need the rental income from this asset to cover mortgage payments.</p> <p>The primary concern for people becoming a landlord for the first time is the hassle and burden of managing a property with tenants. This fear is not unfounded, given that recent HomeServe research<a href="#footnote_2">(2)</a> revealed that it takes an average of 27.2 days for urgent faults within Britain's rental properties to be fixed as a result of tenants delaying reporting faults with a property.</p> <p>According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders as many as 900,000 households could be in negative equity in the UK as the property market continues to shrink. Around a third of these are facing shortfalls of more than 10% making the prospect of selling almost impossible<a href="#footnote_3">(3)</a>.</p> <p>The other major consideration is the associated cost that comes with the management of a rental property. One in two (49%) landlords who rent out their properties through a letting agent also employs the same company to manage the property, so that they are relieved of the burden of organising for repairs to the property.</p> <p>However, the cost of outsourcing the management of your property is not insignificant with the management agent service charges averaging around 12% of a landlord's rental income, which represents &pound;1,440 a year on a property with a monthly rental charge of &pound;1,000. This fee does not take into account any emergency repairs that might need to be undertaken on the property during this period.</p> <p>HomeServe has launched a cost-effective alternative for the first-time landlord, its Landlord's Home Emergency Cover, which relieves landlords of the burden of being on stand-by 24/7 for emergency calls concerning their property. The cover starts at just &pound;5 a month and not only gives landlords peace of mind that a tenant can call a dedicated number any time of the day or night for a professional engineer to be sent out to deal with a leaking pipe or faulty boiler, but it also removes the fear for landlords of unexpected repair costs.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO, HomeServe Membership commented: "The current economy and flat housing market has seen many people being thrown reluctantly into the role of landlord for the first time. Many of these have full-time jobs and families to attend to, so it is extremely inconvenient if they are being called late at night to resolve tenants' problems. Our Home Emergency Cover frees landlords from the hassle of arranging for plumbers, electricians and boiler servicing engineers to attend to their tenants' homes. It also means they won't have to stump up hundreds of pounds for unexpected repair to fix home emergencies."</p> <p>HomeServe's Landlord's Home Emergency Cover insures those renting properties from the financial risk of fixing urgent problems, such as leaking roofs and burst pipes. The landlord or tenants can call a single number to organise for a tradesman to fix an urgent domestic problem. Landlords that subscribe to the service can remove the need for tenants to contact them about a problem, freeing them from the burden of calls during unsociable hours. They will no longer have to struggle to track down a tradesman while juggling their own work and home lives. Landlord's Home Emergency Cover offers peace of mind for those landlords worried about unexpected charges for fixing emergencies with their rental properties.</p> <p>Landlords can discover more about HomeServe's Landlords product by calling 0800 408 9255.</p> <h2>Notes to Editors</h2> <p><a id="footnote_1">(1)</a> 103 letting agents across England were surveyed over the phone.</p> <p><a id="footnote_2">(2)</a> ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,045 adults aged 18+ online 13th - 15th March 2009. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <p><a id="footnote_3">(3)</a> source: <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.creditchoices.co.uk/negative-equity-house-prices-fall-100-pounds-a-day-05052009.html">http://www.creditchoices.co.uk/negative-equity-house-prices-fall-100-pounds-a-day-05052009.html</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every 40 seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>DIY Disasters Cause 42 A&E Visits In West Midlands Every Day2262009000<h2>DIY DISASTERS CAUSE 42 A&amp;E VISITS IN WEST MIDLANDS EVERY DAY</h2> <ul> <li>Accidents "waiting to happen all over the UK" says HomeServe</li> <li>Cuts from saws and injuring yourself lifting or moving heavy items top the list of DIY disasters</li> </ul> <p>Accident and emergency units across the West Midlands have to deal with 42 injuries caused by botched DIY problems every day, according to new research by HomeServe.</p> <p>The home repair and maintenance experts say that some 956,000 people injure themselves every year in the region by taking on troublesome home improvements. Around one in every 12 injuries (8%) result in an amateur handyman being taken to local hospital via Accident &amp; Emergency.</p> <p>According to HomeServe &ndash; which offers its own handyman service for people who don&rsquo;t trust their own DIY skills &ndash; the most common injury caused by a DIY disaster is cutting yourself with a saw or sharp edge, followed by lifting a heavy object and tripping over wires or cables. The parts of the body most vulnerable to a DIY mishap are your hands and fingers (cited by 40% of respondents who had had a DIY accident), followed by back (26%) and legs (16%).</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: "Budding DIY enthusiasts are already dusting down their hammers and digging out their tool belts. For many the temptation of trying to fix that wonky shelf or mend the leaking tap yourself is just too difficult to resist. Our advice would be to ensure you prepare well for the task in hand and that you have the ability and tools to tackle it safely. Otherwise, there could be accidents just waiting to happen."</p> <p>The HomeServe figures show that the majority of DIY mishaps require simple first aid to put right but in some instances the consequences are more severe. Nineteen per cent of cases over the past five years have required DIY victims to take time off work, visit a GP or take bed rest.</p> <table class="alignleft noBdr" border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th colspan="2">HomeServe Top Ten DIY Disasters</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="wid10"><strong>1</strong></td> <td><strong>Cutting yourself with a saw or sharp edge</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>2</strong></td> <td><strong>Lifting a heavy object</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>3</strong></td> <td><strong>Moving a piece of heavy furniture</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>4</strong></td> <td><strong>Tripping over wires/cables</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>5</strong></td> <td><strong>Falling (off ladders, down stairs, etc.)</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>6</strong></td> <td><strong>Receiving an electric shock</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>7</strong></td> <td><strong>Painting / stripping a ceiling or wall</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>8</strong></td> <td><strong>Suffering an allergic reaction to chemicals </strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>9</strong></td> <td><strong>Burning yourself using wallpaper strippers, blow torches, etc</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>10</strong></td> <td><strong>Inhaling / ingesting chemicals or fuels</strong></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>HomeServe&rsquo;s handyman service is free to call and uses only qualified HomeServe approved tradesmen. The company will always quote the full price of the job before work starts and guarantees all its work for 12 months.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim continued: "British people are very house proud and take their DIY very seriously. But the problem with DIY is the &lsquo;Y&rsquo; &ndash; as soon as you take on a job yourself you need to be confident you are capable of finishing it. Otherwise there&rsquo;s a chance you&rsquo;ll injure yourself and potentially end up in hospital. Most people who use our handyman service end up asking why they ever bothered trying to do things themselves in the first place. You can&rsquo;t put a price on peace of mind."</p> <h3>Notes to Editors:</h3> <p>* ICM interviewed a random sample of 2051 adults aged 18+ online between 24th &ndash; 26th April 2009. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a> Calculation for 42 headline figure:</p> <ul> <li>People in the West Midlands that have had a DIY accident in past 5 years: 956,000 </li> <li>Therefore spread over 5 years = 191,200 per year </li> <li>Divided by 365 days = 523 per day </li> <li>8% of injuries in the Midlands resulted in victims being checked at A&amp;E = 42 A&amp;E visits per day </li> </ul> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every 40 seconds a Homeserve engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe Celebrates Staff Success in Gaining National Qualifications2172009000<h2>HomeServe Celebrates Staff Success in Gaining National Qualifications</h2> <ul> <li>HomeServe employees will be recognised in a vocational qualification presentation ceremony held at the company's Walsall headquarters on 21st July</li> </ul> <p>Employees at HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts, will be joining in the celebrations of the UK's national VQ Day at its Walsall site on Tuesday 21st July</p> <p>HomeServe is keen to support VQ Day and is holding its own presentation ceremony to honour its employees' achievements in gaining recognised vocational qualifications in Customer Service.</p> <p>VQ Day is a national celebration of vocational qualifications (VQs) by learning providers, educational institutions and employers. Vocational qualifications have an emphasis on the assessment of practical skills and knowledge and are a route to further education and career development for many people across the UK. Over 150 HomeServe employees are currently studying for a VQ, with 70 staff having gained a formal qualification since the programme was launched in November 2008.</p> <p>Sue Bond, a Quality Assessor at HomeServe, has just completed an NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service and said, 'It has been years since I was at school, but work-based study meant I could gain a qualification without the stress of sitting exams. Gaining this qualification has given me more confidence to go ahead and study for further qualifications.'</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, Chief Executive for HomeServe Membership, said, 'We are committed to developing and maintaining a highly skilled workforce and giving our employees a chance to gain formal vocational qualifications is a key part of this. This event marks a great success story for a large number of employees who have gained a qualification this year.'</p> <p>HomeServe also has an established apprenticeship programme, with approximately 10% of its workforce participating in workplace-based study programmes, ranging from training schemes for tradesmen through to contact centre-related qualifications for customer services staff. The company plans to extend its apprenticeship recruitment over the next few years</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every 40 seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Wasp Week begins as wasp and hornet nests hit peak2772009000<h2>Wasp Week begins as wasp and hornet nests hit peak</h2> <ul> <li>HomeServe says last week in July is most popular time for emergency call outs to deal with wasps and hornets</li> <li>HomeServe cover against pests costs as little as &pound;41.99 a year</li> </ul> <p>Monday July 27th will herald the start of a week of frustration, nursing stings and al fresco annoyance as wasps and hornets wreak havoc on British homes.</p> <p>That is the prediction of HomeServe, the home emergency experts, whose analysis of claims data reveals that the last week in July is the peak time for homeowners to call out pest controllers to deal with nuisance invasions of wasps and hornets.</p> <p>HomeServe handles an average of 3,000 wasp and hornet related claims a year and says that the last week in July is the single most popular week for its customers to call out pest controllers to deal with emergencies related to the stinging insects.</p> <p>In the last week of July 2008, HomeServe's wasp and hornet claims were up 98% compared to the summer average, with 205 claims made in a single week compared with the average 106 for the summer months*. The same period in 2007 saw a 59% increase compared to the summer average, when a staggering 337 claims were made in a single week.</p> <p>HomeServe says that wasps become more of a nuisance in the height of summer as they increasingly feed on sweet materials such as jam and honey. It also points to the fact that typically the school term ends in the final weeks of July, leading to more people being out in their gardens and an increased risk either of interaction with wasps or simply a greater chance that a nest is found in the first place.</p> <p>HomeServe is warning people not to try to remove a wasp or hornet nest themselves. Hornets' colonies reach their peak population in late summer and can reach a size of 700. Hornets and wasps can mobilise the entire nest to sting in defence of an attack, which can be highly dangerous. Approximately 3 people in 100 people suffer from an immediate and more widespread allergic reaction to being stung, such as an anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal**.</p> <p>HomeServe also warns against killing a hornet near its nest as it will release a distress pheromone that could trigger an attack from the entire colony. If you do kill a hornet, HomeServe recommends removing any materials that came into contact with the pheromone from the vicinity of the hornet&rsquo;s nest, in particular clothes and the dead hornet itself.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: "The summer is nesting season for wasps and hornets which is why we all associate the hot weather with stings and swatting away annoying insects over an al fresco lunch.</p> <p>"It is not unusual for nests to be situated inside sheds or close to well-used entrances, in which case they can become particularly troublesome. The safest way to remove the nuisance is to call in experts as we wouldn't recommend trying to destroy the nest yourself.</p> <p>"Given wasp nest claims are most common just after the end of the school term, it makes sense to try and sort the problem before your children are home for the summer. You'll enjoy being outside in your garden so much more."</p> <p>HomeServe's Pest Control Contamination cover provides for the professional removal of wasp and hornet nests as well as extermination and control of rats and mice. Between August 2007 and May 2009, the company has seen an 87.7% increase in the number of customers covered for pest infestations.</p> <p>Cover provides unlimited claims per year, up to &pound;300 per claim for call-out, repeat visits, materials, pesticides and bait boxes. The cost of this cover is &pound;41.99 a year, which can be paid on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. For further information about this cover, visit <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homserve.com/pests">www.homserve.com/pests</a> or call 0800 783 0951.</p> <h3>Notes to Editors</h3> <p id="footnote-1">* summer months &ndash; June, July, August</p> <p id="footnote-1">** - NHS information</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every 40 seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe helps employees to “get on their bike” in Walsall2972009000<h2>HomeServe helps employees to &ldquo;get on their bike&rdquo; in Walsall</h2> <ul> <li>HomeServe partners with Halfords to launch tax-efficient Cycle2Work scheme to over 1600 employees in its Walsall offices</li> </ul> <p>HomeServe is partnering with Halfords to launch a Cycle2Work scheme, a government &ldquo;tax break&rdquo; that is designed to get employees cycling to work. The scheme promotes the use of bicycles, encouraging healthier journeys to work while reducing environmental pollution.</p> <p>HomeServe is launching the Cycle2Work scheme to almost 3000 employees across its offices in Walsall, Preston, Weston Super Mare and Banbury on Monday 3rd August. The company anticipates great interest in the scheme, and over 1600 Walsall employees will have the chance to make huge savings on the purchase of a new bike and safety equipment. As an additional incentive, HomeServe is giving all employees who join the scheme the chance to win &pound;100 of cycling accessories.</p> <p>The tax break will allow employees to obtain a brand new bike and affords savings of up to 41%. Employees simply agree to forgo a small amount of their salary on a monthly basis over a 12-month period, and in return they get a top quality bike and accessories to commute to work on.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, Chief Executive of HomeServe Membership, commented: &ldquo;We are delighted to be offering this new scheme to employees and hope that many will take up the opportunity to make genuine savings on a new bike that they can use primarily for commuting to and from work, but also in their own leisure time. Cycling is a great way to keep fit, and of course also means that people can do their own bit to help the environment by reducing CO2 emissions.&rdquo;</p> <p>More information about the government&rsquo;s Cycle2Work scheme can be found at <br /> <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/cycling/cycletoworkschemeimplementat5732">http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/cycling/cycletoworkschemeimplementat5732</a></p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every 40 seconds a Homeserve engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Trend to 'Improve Not Move' Fuels Boom in Rogue Traders1102008000<h2>Trend to 'Improve Not Move' Fuels Boom in Rogue Traders</h2> <ul> <li>One in six people has been left 'high and dry' by a rogue trader.</li> <li>The average cost to 'right the wrongs' is &pound;1,275.</li> <li>Problem most endemic in London where one in five has fallen victime to substandard work.</li> <li>Cash economy leaves millions more at risk.</li> </ul> <p>Rogue traders are coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of the growing number of homeowners opting to stay put and improve rather than brave the shaky property market, according to a new report from HomeServe, the home repair and maintenance experts.</p> <p>The report, released today, found that Britons have collectively forked out more than &pound;8 billion to rectify botched jobs over the last two years. And this colossal amount is just the tip of the iceberg, with money paid to rogue traders for botching the job adding even more to the bill.</p> <p>The research comes from HomeServe's <strong>Home Invader</strong> report; an analysis of the tradesmen marketplace. The report reveals large price discrepancies, a lack of available tradesmen and a thriving cash economy, which will leave consumers with no recourse when things don't go according to plan.</p> <p>The report from HomeServe found London is the 'rogue trader capital' of the UK with one in five people (20%) reporting to have paid for a job they feel is not up to standard over the last two years. The West Country reported the lowest incidence with just four per cent claiming to have been overcharged or left with shoddy work.</p> <p>According to the undercover research call-out charges vary wildly. The lowest in the study of 200 tradesmen was &pound;15 and the highest was &pound;79.50. The research also found that 57 per cent of tradesmen charge by the job and 43 per cent charge by the hour.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership</strong>, said: "This research clearly shows just how vulnerable people can be when they don't make the necessary checks. When looking for a tradesmen most people turn to a directory or the internet, but it's difficult to know the difference between one company and another from a directory listing."</p> <h3>Top 5 Bogus Builder Lines:</h3> <ol> <li>We were working in the area / have finished a job early so can offer a special deal</li> <li>We work for the council and have some spare time between jobs</li> <li>We need some cash upfront to cover some of the materials &ndash; once homeowners have committed to the job, the bills keep coming!</li> <li>I'm afraid the problem is much worse than we first thought</li> <li>You appear to have a loose tile on your roof &ndash; I've been sorting out a similar job down the road and have a few minutes up my sleeve so we can sort you out too. The problem then turns out to be much worse.</li> </ol> <p>According to HomeServe, a quarter (27%) of tradesmen surveyed were prepared to offer a discount for those paying by cash, with plumbers (50%) most likely to do so. The thriving cash economy leaves consumers vulnerable and without any recourse or proof they even did the work, in the event of a job not meeting consumers' expectations.</p> <p>When asked, only 62% of tradesmen in the HomeServe study were prepared to guarantee their work. The least likely tradesmen to offer a guarantee were glaziers where only a quarter (23%) did. This is compared with 96% of pest controllers who would offer a guarantee. Plumbers (45%) were less willing to guarantee their work than electricians (73%).</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim concluded</strong>: "Our new service takes all the worry out of home repairs, maintenance and emergencies. You'll get one price that is fixed upfront, a quick response and the work is guaranteed for 12 months. No more haggling over prices and no more 'umming and aahing&rsquo;'over the scope of the work. Just make one call to us and we'll take care of everything."</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <p><strong>* Research conducted by ICM and Citigate Dewe Rogerson in September 2008</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark / Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 0207 282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Tenants From Hell582009000<h2>Tenants From Hell</h2> <ul> <li>Landlords pay out on average &pound;511* each year per property to repair damage caused by tenants</li> <li>Private landlords devote &pound;64.5 million worth of time to resolving tenant problems</li> <li>Almost a quarter (22%) of rental properties have been damaged by tenants attempting unauthorised home improvements and DIY</li> <li>HomeServe provides Landlord&rsquo;s Home Emergency Cover, which from as little as &pound;5 month, helps relieve some of the financial burden associated with rectifying urgent problems with rental properties</li> </ul> <p>New research from HomeServe reveals the destructive capacity of tenants, who cause on average &pound;511 of damage to the properties they rent each year. Annually landlords spend on average one and half days organising repairs for these properties, resolving issues such as broken boilers, blocked drains and burst pipes. Cumulatively each year the UK&rsquo;s estimated one million** private landlords devote time valued at least &pound;64.5 million to resolving tenants&rsquo; dilemmas. Landlords with their own jobs and busy lives are forced to juggle booking plumbers, electricians and builders to resolve home emergencies many of which are caused by the thoughtless actions of tenants themselves.</p> <p>One unsuspecting landlord found their property had been converted into a makeshift cannabis factory, complete with rewired electricity meter and a loft full of heat lamps. Returning the property to its intended use as a family home cost the landlord &pound;4,000. Another UK landlord was called by a concerned neighbour of one of their tenants to deal with an explosion of foam flooding from the kitchen of the property. The young lady renting the house had filled the dishwasher with ordinary washing up liquid, which created a flood of bubbles and destroyed the appliance.</p> <p>In the last five years more than one in five (22%) rental properties has been damaged by tenants&rsquo; errant attempts at DIY. Landlords have also had to contend with blocked sinks and drains (15%) caused by tenants&rsquo; thoughtless behaviour, such as failing to clear hair from plug holes or continually pouring hot fat down the drain. More than one in 10 (13%) landlords has been faced with organising repairs for water damage to a property when tenants failed to report broken or leaking taps and pipes. A further 10% have been forced to hire professional cleaners or purchase new carpets and flooring after tenants failed to remove stains such as red wine and mascara trodden into carpets.</p> <p>One in 10 landlords has been forced to deal with a vermin or pest infestation at a rental property as a result of the occupants not disposing of food waste properly. Tenants failing to put the central heating on in winter has left 9% of Britain&rsquo;s landlords cursing expensive bills from plumbers and heating engineers after pipes cracked or froze.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: &ldquo;Landlords have to find hundreds of pounds a year to pay for emergency repairs to their properties and to replace damaged fixtures and appliances - when the problems are caused by thoughtless tenants it is particularly galling. Many landlords do not have the necessary skills or time to resolve problems themselves, so are forced to pay high call out rates for emergency plumbers, electricians and builders. Landlords with managing agents have to pay out even greater sums, averaging around 12% of the rental yield for the agent to handle the complaint and they then have to pay the costs of repairs on top.&rdquo;</p> <p>Landlords that have been forced to deal with an emergency in their rental property, such as a broken central heating system or cracked pipes in the last 12 months, blame the tenants entirely for the problem in one in five cases (19%). They cite examples where tenants have failed to check the boiler&rsquo;s pilot light, bleed radiators or report blocked pipes quickly enough to prevent expensive repair bills mounting up.</p> <p>Dealing with tenants&rsquo; emergencies and finding the money to pay for unanticipated repairs is cited by 42% of Britain&rsquo;s landlords as their biggest challenge. A further 40% bemoan trying to deal with unreliable occupants of rental properties, while 8% find the greatest challenge ensuring they are paid on time.</p> <p>Dealing with tenants&rsquo; problems has caused significant anguish for landlords, the majority of whom bought their property for its investment potential. Over half (58%) of Britons renting out properties became landlords because they saw property as a good long-term investment. One in 10 (9%) of those renting out a property is a victim of circumstance, unable to sell their property in the current market. For the 11% of landlords that use their property as an extra source of income, paying out continually to repair damages is particularly frustrating as it cuts directly into their profits.</p> <p>Quotes from landlords regarding traumas with tenants:</p> <ul> <li>&ldquo;One of my tenants tried to fix the boiler themselves - god knows why. They ended up using Blu-Tack to try and hold a screw in place! It doubled the cost of the final repair, but I couldn't get the tenant to pay and didn't want to go to court.&rdquo; </li> <li>&ldquo;The tenant had tried to relight the pilot light with an electric hob lighter, it was found by the heating engineer jammed in the boiler.&rdquo; </li> <li>&ldquo;A guy renting my flat didn't use the shower curtain properly in the bathroom. In just six months when the letting agent checked, the walls were covered in mould and water had rotted two of the joists and a number of the floor boards. It took ages to evict the bloke and cost a fortune to fix.&rdquo;</li> <li>&ldquo;Burns, on the carpets! A lady renting one of my houses fried the carpets by leaving ceramic hair straighteners on the floor. I&rsquo;m just thankful it didn't result in a towering inferno.&rdquo;</li> </ul> <p>With 60% of landlords not living within a 30- minute drive of all the properties they rent out, many find it difficult to resolve tenants&rsquo; issues themselves. HomeServe&rsquo;s Landlords Home Emergency Cover enables landlords or tenants to call a single number to organise for a tradesman to fix an urgent domestic problem. It insures those renting properties from the financial risk of fixing urgent problems, such as leaking roofs and burst pipes. It also frees landlords that subscribe to the service from the burden of fielding calls during unsociable hours. They will no longer have to struggle to track down a tradesman while juggling their own work and home lives. Landlords Home Emergency Cover offers peace of mind for those landlords worried about unexpected charges for fixing emergencies with their rental properties.</p> <p>Landlords can discover more about HomeServe's Landlords product by calling 0800 408 9255.</p> <h3>Notes to Editors</h3> <p id="footnote-1">* Online research conducted via The Landlord Association (<a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.landlordexpert.co.uk/">http://www.landlordexpert.co.uk/</a>) amongst 200 UK based landlords between 15th June and 15th July 2009.</p> <p id="footnote-1">**Calculation based on Mintel&rsquo;s estimation of one million private landlords in the UK</p> <p id="footnote-1">(<a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.financemarkets.co.uk/2007/04/26/study-number-of-private-landlords-set-to-increase/">http://www.financemarkets.co.uk/2007/04/26/study-number-of-private-landlords-set-to-increase/</a>)</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every 40 seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Flat owners drowning in water soaked properties2382009000<h2>Flat owners drowning in water soaked properties</h2> <h3>Estimated 9.7 billion litres of water lost through leaks in British homes each year.</h3> <ul> <li>Enough water to fill an estimated 3,880 Olympic swimming pools is lost through domestic household leaks each year</li> <li>Leaking toilets and cisterns account for an estimated 1.4 billion litres of wasted water each year</li> <li>Residents of flats and apartments most likely to experience problems with water leaks </li> <li>HomeServe.s Apartments &amp; Flats insurance provides cover for an owner.s property regardless of where the emergency originates </li> </ul> <p>New research published today by HomeServe reveals that an estimated 9.7 billion litres* of water is lost through domestic water leaks each year. The home emergency and maintenance experts reveal extensive damage is caused to British homes as a result of water leaking from cracked pipes, overflowing toilet cisterns and ill fitted washing machine soil pipes. Enough water is leaking from damaged fixtures and appliances in British homes to fill an estimated 3880** Olympic sized swimming pools or 3.2*** lake Windermeres each year.</p> <p>Worryingly many householders are putting off the repair of damaged fixtures and appliances, 350,000 Britons have lived with a household leak for at least 12 months. Over 100,000 Britons have been living with a leaking toilet or cistern for more than a year. At a time when household budgets are stretched as a result of the recession, many families are putting off vital home repairs.</p> <p>Britons living in flats and apartments are more likely to experience problems with household leaks than inhabitants of other types of properties. HomeServe believes this is a consequence of householders often not having direct responsibility for maintaining the pipe work and fixtures in a building; they are often forced to rely on management companies to complete vital repairs.</p> <p>Cracked and leaking pipes have affected one in twenty British households in the last year. Faulty washing machines and cracked soil pipes have affected 5% of Britons, who have seen kitchen floors swamped by water that is often filthy damaging flooring and kitchen cabinets.</p> <p>Over a million British householders have been affected by overflowing and leaking cisterns in the last 12 months. Water from flooded bathrooms can seep through ceilings to damage the rooms below, or in the case of flats, adjoining properties. A dripping tap alone can waste 140 litres of water a week and over 1.1 million Britons have encountered this problem in their homes in the last year.</p> <p>Table One: UK householders affected by leaking fixtures and appliances in the last 12 months and cumulative water loss</p> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Fixture /appliance leaking</th> <th class="wid25">Number of householders affected</th> <th class="wid25">Number of flat / apartment residents affected</th> <th class="wid25">Estimated total water leakage per fixture / appliance</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Pipe</td> <td>2268000 (5%)</td> <td>406,000 (5%)</td> <td>1.1 billion litres</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Washing machine</td> <td>2231000 (5%)</td> <td>511,000 (6%)</td> <td>455 million litres</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Toilet / cistern</td> <td>1624000 (4%)</td> <td>263,000 (3%)</td> <td>1.4 billion litres</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Shower</td> <td>1544000 (3%)</td> <td>117,000 (1%)</td> <td>855 million litres</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Bath</td> <td>1449000 (3%)</td> <td>241,000 (3%)</td> <td>1.1 billion litres</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Tap</td> <td>1181000 (3%)</td> <td>174,000 (2%)</td> <td>708 million litres</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Radiator</td> <td>1174000 (3%)</td> <td>154,000 (2%)</td> <td>403 million litres</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Dishwasher</td> <td>530000 (1%)</td> <td>52,000 (1%)</td> <td>122 million litres</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Other type of leak</td> <td>2689000 (6%)</td> <td>477,000 (6%)</td> <td>3.4 billion litres</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source: HomeServe</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: .Water can be incredibly destructive, small amounts leaking over a prolonged period can cause extensive damage affecting furnishings, decoration and potentially major structural issues.&nbsp; Many Britons do not have money set aside to pay for emergency repairs to burst pipes or leaking radiators so may put off repairs. However, Britons can protect themselves against unexpected expenditure for repairs by investing in emergency insurance that covers water leaks.&nbsp; It is an environmental tragedy that so much water is wasted each year in domestic water leaks.</p> <p>People living in flats and apartments are especially exposed to leaks and water damage from adjacent properties.&nbsp; Occupants of these properties should be aware of the potential risk of a water leak in their property causing serious problems if it seeps into a neighbouring flat.&nbsp; Flat dwellers should also be aware that pipes running into their home are not covered by the service charge that many pay to live in a flat block.</p> <p>Both the Local Government Association and Energy Savings Trust have highlighted reducing wastage of domestic water as a key issue.&nbsp; Leaking water is not only wasteful for environmental reasons given increased pressures on fresh drinking water it can also cause significant damage to a property.&nbsp; Left unchecked leaking water can cause amongst other problems; damp, rot through joists and floor boards and compromise household electrical circuits.</p> <h3>Regional findings</h3> <p>Residents in the South East (6%) and Northern England (6%) are the most likely to have been a victim of leaking pipe work in the last 12 months.&nbsp;&nbsp; Inhabitants of Wales and the West of England have been affected more than any other part of the country by leaking dishwashers (6%) and showers (5%).&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Table two: Regional analysis of householders affected by leaking fixtures and appliances in the last 12 months</p> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Fixture /appliance leaking</th> <th class="wid17">South East</th> <th class="wid17">Midlands</th> <th class="wid17">North England</th> <th class="wid17">Wales &amp; South West</th> <th class="wid17">Scotland</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Pipe</td> <td>770,000 (6%)</td> <td>499,000 (4%)</td> <td>647,000 (6%)</td> <td>275,000 (4%)</td> <td>77,000 (2%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Washing machine</td> <td>648,000 (5%)</td> <td>613,000 (5%)</td> <td>474,000 (4%)</td> <td>237,000 (4%)</td> <td>260,000 (6%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Toilet / cistern</td> <td>401,000 (3%)</td> <td>492,000 (4%)</td> <td>460,000 (4%)</td> <td>210,000 (3%)</td> <td>60,000 (1%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Shower</td> <td>217,000 (2%)</td> <td>366,000 (3%)</td> <td>508,000 (4%)</td> <td>332,000 (5%)</td> <td>122,000 (3%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Bath</td> <td>227,000 (2%)</td> <td>364,000 (3%)</td> <td>477,000 (4%)</td> <td>184,000 (3%)</td> <td>198,000 (5%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Tap</td> <td>355,000 (3%)</td> <td>346,000 (3%)</td> <td>296,000 (3%)</td> <td>47,000 (1%)</td> <td>137,000 (3%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Radiator</td> <td>86,000 (1%)</td> <td>209,000 (2%)</td> <td>355,000 (3%)</td> <td>417,000 (6%)</td> <td>106,000 (3%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Dishwasher</td> <td>50,000</td> <td>141,000 (1%)</td> <td>178,000 (2%)</td> <td>75,000 (1%)</td> <td>85,000 (2%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Other type of leak</td> <td>810,000 (7%)</td> <td>911,000 (8%)</td> <td>569,000 (5%)</td> <td>266,000 (4%)</td> <td>133,00 (3%)</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source: HomeServe</p> <p>HomeServe's Apartments and Flats product offers flat owners an effective solution to deal with household emergencies. &nbsp;The product provides an emergency response for problems with plumbing and drainage, electrics, boiler and central heating issues and even covers glazing and locks emergencies. &nbsp;The new products have been specifically designed for people living in flats.&nbsp; If for example, a plumbing emergency is caused by the flat above HomeServe will aim to fix the problem if access can be gained from the policyholder.s flat below.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <p>*ICM interviewed a random sample of 2012 adults aged 18+ online between 24<sup>th</sup> . 26<sup>th</sup> July 2009.&nbsp; Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.&nbsp; ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.&nbsp; Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <p>** Calculation based on an Olympic Pool with dimensions of 50m x 25m x 2m (average depth) which is 2.5m cubic metres</p> <p>***<a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.shower-smart.co.uk/saving-water.php">http://www.shower-smart.co.uk/saving-water.php</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson</p> <p>Citigate Dewe Rogerson</p> <p>020 7282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every 40 seconds a Homeserve engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe to lend a helping hand to Acorns Children's Hospice2882009000<h2>HomeServe to lend a helping hand to Acorns Children&rsquo;s Hospice</h2> <h3>HomeServe pulls out all the stops for local West Midlands resident</h3> <p>HomeServe employees, supported by skilled tradesmen are setting out today to help improve the premises at Acorns Children&rsquo;s Hospice in Walsall.&nbsp; The volunteers will dedicate themselves to modernising the appearance of the hospice and upgrading fixtures at the facility.&nbsp; In addition, the team will assist with redecorating parts of the building and clearing up areas of the gardens to create more outside space for families using the hospice.</p> <p>As specialists in home repairs, the volunteer tradesmen are part of HomeServe&rsquo;s new service, One Contact, providing an extensive range of household emergency and maintenance repairs to customers.&nbsp; From plumbing leaks and bursts to a faulty washing machine, boiler breakdowns to a broken lock, HomeServe has a tradesman for the job. HomeServe offers homeowners peace of mind having a team of fully vetted qualified tradesmen with all &nbsp;job costs agreed upfront before any work starts.&nbsp; All work is also guaranteed by HomeServe for 12 months.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said. &ldquo;Our volunteers are all set to get stuck in and do as much as they can to help out today.&nbsp; The team at Acorns Children&rsquo;s Hospice provides an invaluable service to many families in need of emotional support during an unimaginably difficult time.&nbsp; We&rsquo;re proud to make this contribution and help such a worthy cause.&nbsp; HomeServe is dedicated to investing in the communities in which it operates.&rdquo;</p> <p>Carl Cadman, Volunteers Manager at Acorns in the Black Country said:&nbsp; &ldquo;We&rsquo;re very grateful to HomeServe for volunteering to help tidy up the gardens and some of the rooms within our specialist facility.</p> <p>&ldquo;We rely on volunteers to help keep our children&rsquo;s hospice a beautiful home-from-home for the children and their families who use it. We have to fundraise for over 80% of our income to continue providing quality care and support to local life-limited and life-threatened children and their families, to have a team of volunteers come and support us by working on the gardens and rooms is a tremendous help.</p> <p>&ldquo;HomeServe has assisted with the improvement of our family care suites, as well as the patio outside the children&rsquo;s Activities Room here at Acorns in the Black Country.&nbsp; They have also painted the library and conference room, as well as the Community Team Manager&rsquo;s office.&nbsp; They&rsquo;ve been brilliant!&rdquo;</p> <p>To find out more about the work of Acorns Children's Hospice and how you can help with fundraising call Acorns on: 0845 120 6892 or visit: www.acorns.org.uk</p> <p><strong>- ends -</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <p><strong>About Acorns Children&rsquo;s Hospice</strong></p> <p>Due to the sensitive nature of Acorns care services it refrains from using the words &lsquo;terminal&rsquo; or &lsquo;terminally ill&rsquo; in its press releases and public communications when describing the children who use Acorns and the illnesses that they have. Instead, Acorns uses the words &lsquo;life limited&rsquo;, &lsquo;life limiting&rsquo;, or &lsquo;life threatening&rsquo; &ndash; terms that are used by medical experts at the point of diagnosis of the child, and which are commonly used in the UK&rsquo;s children&rsquo;s hospice movement and paediatric palliative care communications. Acorns kindly requests that you respect this in your own press coverage of Acorns Children's Hospice. Acorns children have a lot of living to do. Thank you.</p> <p>Acorns offers a network of care and support to children who have life limiting or life threatening illnesses and their families, at its hospices in Selly Oak, Walsall and Worcester, and through its community team who offer support at home.&nbsp; Children can stay at the hospices for short breaks, emergency and end-of-life care.&nbsp; The community team give support to the family 24 hours a day, seven days a week.&nbsp;</p> <p>Acorns has developed in size and expertise, and led nationally and internationally toward the immensely important goal of giving life limited children and their families the best possible care.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since its opening in 1988, Acorns&rsquo; reputation has been built on quality of care, and attention to detail &ndash; where the whole family is supported, reflecting the Palliative Care Network&rsquo;s vision towards &lsquo;Living well to the end of life.&rsquo;<br />Acorns&rsquo; three hospices employ more than 170 care staff, including a large multi-disciplinary Community Team.&nbsp; Its work is also hugely supported by 350 committed and trained volunteers.</p> <p>The Community Team is the first contact for Acorns families. Acorns contacts all newly accepted families within 7 days.</p> <p>The hospices would welcome referrals, at Acorns in Birmingham (tel. 0121 248 4850); Acorns in The Black Country (Tel 01922 422500); and Acorns for the Three Counties (tel 01905 767676), for details see <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.acorns.org.uk/">www.acorns.org.uk</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is no charge for Acorns&rsquo; service but running costs stand at &pound;4,500 per day per hospice that&rsquo;s &pound;450 per bed.</p> <p>To find out more about Acorns, please visit www.acorns.org.uk.</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson <br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson <br /> 0207 282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every 40 seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Tradesmen Lottery Exposed by Undercover Study1892008000<h2>Tradesmen Lottery Exposed by Undercover Study</h2> <ul> <li>Undercover study of tradesmen highlights dangers to consumers</li> <li>Booming 'cash economy' leaves consumers with nowhere to turn</li> <li>New service to provide lifeline for West Midlands</li> </ul> <p>The largest ever undercover study of tradesmen across the West Midlands has revealed large price discrepancies, a lack of available tradesmen and a thriving cash economy which will leave consumers with no recourse when things don&rsquo;t go according to plan.</p> <p>The report from HomeServe, the full home repairs and maintenance service, found that there is one tradesman for every 190 people in the West Midlands, although this varies throughout the region. In Sandwell, there is just one tradesman for every 622 people, compared with Wolverhampton, where there is one for every 141 people. The research found that, as a result, availability is erratic and inconsistent, varying enormously by trade and county.</p> <h3>Tradesmen working over the Bank Holiday</h3> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Region</th> <th class="wid40">Total number of people per tradesman</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Wolverhampton</td> <td>141</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Dudley</td> <td>393</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Walsall</td> <td>205</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Sandwell</td> <td>622</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Birmingham</td> <td>217</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Solihull</td> <td>185</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Coventry</td> <td>201</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft"><strong>Midlands Total</strong></td> <td>228</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft"><strong>UK Total</strong></td> <td>170</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>According to the undercover research call-out charges vary enormously. The lowest in the study of 200 tradesmen was &pound;15 and the highest was &pound;79.50. The research also found that 57 per cent of tradesmen charge by the job and 43 per cent charge by the hour.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership</strong>, said: "This research clearly shows just how vulnerable people can be when they don't make the necessary checks. When looking for a tradesmen most people, and this is particularly true in the West Midlands, turn to a directory or the internet, but it's difficult to know the difference between one company and the next and there's no guarantee of quality, price or even that the tradesmen will turn up."</p> <p>According to HomeServe a quarter (27%) of tradesmen surveyed in the West Midlands were prepared to offer a discount for those paying by cash, with plumbers (50%) most likely to do so. The thriving cash economy leaves consumers vulnerable and without any recourse or proof they even did the work, in the event of a job not meeting consumers' expectations.</p> <p>When asked, only 62% of tradesmen in the West Midlands were prepared to guarantee their work. The least likely tradesmen to offer a guarantee were glaziers where only a quarter (23%) did. This is compared with 96% of pest controllers who would offer a guarantee. Plumbers (45%) were less willing to guarantee their work than electricians (73%).</p> <ul> <li>80% of people in the West Midlands obtain only one quote when having work carried out by tradesmen.</li> <li>Only 19% ask for a written quote before work is undertaken.</li> <li>Only 4% of people in the West Midlands ask for references from tradesmen.</li> <li>Just 4% of people in the West Midlands check whether tradesmen are insured.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim concluded</strong>: "Our new service takes all the worry out of home repairs, maintenance and emergencies. You'll get one price that is fixed upfront, a quick response and the work is guaranteed for 12 months. No more haggling over prices and no more 'umming and aahing' over the scope of the work. Just make one call to us and we'll take care of everything."</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <p><strong>* Research conducted by ICM and Citigate Dewe Rogerson in September 2008</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark/ Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 0207 282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>High rise nightmare: Nuisance neighbours ruin the lives of apartment residents192009000<h2>High rise nightmare:&nbsp; Nuisance neighbours ruin the lives of apartment residents</h2> <p><strong>Over half (52%) of flat dwellers have encountered a problem with their neighbours in the past 12 months</strong><strong>1)</strong></p> <p><strong>Over half of those affected reported their neighbours to the local council,&nbsp; property management company, or landlord</strong></p> <p><strong>Spygate &ndash; flat residents resort to video evidence to prove a case against nuisance neighbours </strong></p> <p><strong>HomeServe&rsquo;s </strong><strong>Apartments &amp; Flats owner product provides cover for an owner&rsquo;s property </strong></p> <p>Over four million (52%)(1) Britons living in flats and apartments complain of problems with their neighbours&rsquo; behaviour over the past 12 months, with feuds that can escalate to involve local councils and the police, according to new research published by home repair and maintenance experts, HomeServe.&nbsp; It reveals inhabitants of flats have more problems with their neighbours than the inhabitants of any other type of property.</p> <p>The research reveals that in the past 12 months an unfortunate 365,000 Britons living in flats and apartments have argued with a neighbour.&nbsp; Approximately 623,000 (15%) have resorted to calling the police to resolve a problem such as pest infestations, noise pollution and property damage from neighbours&rsquo; DIY disasters.&nbsp;</p> <p>Approximately 167,000 residents of flats and apartments have taken photos, or filmed documentary style evidence, to build a case against their neighbours.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim</strong><strong>, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said</strong>: &ldquo;Issues with neighbours can ruin the enjoyment of a home.&nbsp; One solution to avoid problems over such issues as water leaking into an adjoining property is to invest in good home emergency insurance. This will cover the cost of a specialist to come out and repair a problem before water can cause too much damage to a neighbour&rsquo;s property.&rdquo;</p> <p>According to the research published by HomeServe 37% of Britons living in flats whose neighbours caused them problems raised their complaints face-to-face with the offending party.&nbsp; Over half (51%) formalised their grievances by reporting their neighbour to the local council (30%), or the property management company or landlord (21%).</p> <p>The most common complaint experienced in the last 12 months was noise pollution with over a third of flat and apartment residents (39%) admitting to being annoyed by excessive television sound levels, shouting, or loud music penetrating the walls of their property.&nbsp; Nearly one in five (18%) flat and apartment residents complained of neighbours causing a nuisance by making a mess around communal bins and generally in outside space. Other problems affecting residents of flats and apartments include bad smells (10%); pest / rodent infestation (5%); compromised block security through main doors being left open (13%) and water damage (7%).</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim added: </strong>&ldquo;With home emergency insurance cover disputes over the cause and cost of the damage to your home can be mitigated and problems can be fixed straight away.&rdquo;</p> <p>HomeServe&rsquo;s Apartments and Flats product offers flat owners an effective solution to deal with household emergencies. &nbsp;The product provides an emergency response for problems with plumbing and drainage, electrics, boiler and central heating issues and even covers glazing and locks emergencies. &nbsp;The new products have been specifically designed for people living in flats.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>- ends -</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <p><strong>1) </strong>ICM interviewed a random sample of 2014 adults aged 18+ online between 24th &ndash; 26th July 2009.&nbsp; Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.&nbsp; ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.&nbsp; Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson <br />Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br />020 7282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 293031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Every 40 seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network. HomeServe&rsquo;s new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards. HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe Launches Home Repair Service In The East Midlands892009000<h2>HomeServe Launches Home Repair Service In The East Midlands</h2> <p><strong>HomeServe to provide one-stop-shop for hundreds of home repair jobs in the East Midlands</strong></p> <p>From today, residents in the East Midlands will be able to call on a brand new, fully comprehensive home repairs and maintenance service that is launching in the region.&nbsp; The launch will see householders in the region have access to nine different trades* resolving hundreds of jobs around the home</p> <p>The new service from HomeServe is being rolled out into the East Midlands following a successful launch 12 months ago of a pilot in the West Midlands. The service offers householders direct access to thousands of the company&rsquo;s specialist tradesmen, all of whom are quality vetted** and capable of resolving hundreds of different emergency or repair &amp; maintenance jobs around the home.</p> <p>The new service offers complete transparency to householders, with customers quoted a price upfront for any job before work is started.&nbsp; Emergency call-out times are under two hours for many trades, and non-emergency jobs will be available for customers to book at times to suit them.&nbsp; HomeServe will guarantee all work for 12 months, offering customers additional peace of mind.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said:&nbsp; &ldquo;Despite last year&rsquo;s difficult economic climate, we have enjoyed a successful pilot and 12 months of operations in the West Midlands.&nbsp; We are now delighted to be launching the home repair service to East Midlands residents and are confident householders in the region will benefit from the same ease of use and peace of mind that this service assures.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Our service takes the worry out of home emergencies, repairs and maintenance because you get one competitive price upfront, a quick response and the work is fully guaranteed.&nbsp; Householders now need just make one call to us and we&rsquo;ll take care of the rest.&rdquo;</p> <p>Customers can expect HomeServe to tackle all major household emergencies and many vital jobs around the home. The new service covers a variety of different trades, with contractors qualified to perform hundreds of jobs ranging from fixing leaking pipes and boiler repairs to repairing a broken washing machine, pest control, aerial installations or modernising your bathroom.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: &ldquo;HomeServe has been providing a home emergency service to its customers via its insurance business for 14 years. It was a natural progression for us to harness the expertise we have established and to build the business into a household name for home repairs and emergencies.</p> <p>&ldquo;We already have the infrastructure in place to offer one the UK&rsquo;s widest range of tradesmen and women &ndash; every 40 seconds an engineer provided by HomeServe comes to the rescue of a British household thanks to our insurance business. Now residents in the East Midlands can access our engineers without having to be an insurance customer.&rdquo;</p> <p>With over 5,000 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24-hour claims handling and repair network.&nbsp;</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7 million policies in the UK and a further 2 million in the USA, France and Spain.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <p>*The nine trades comprise plumbing, drainage, electrics, aerial services, appliance repair, locksmith, heating, pest control and glazing.&nbsp;</p> <p>**All contractors joining the HomeServe network go through a rigorous application and approval process which requires them to complete a number of documents and supply evidence of insurance and competence where required by the law (eg Gas Safe registration).</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every 40 seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 5000 &nbsp;directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network. HomeServe&rsquo;s new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards. HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Like a drowned flat: Apartment residents face £419 million bill to repair water damage1092009000<h2>Like a drowned flat: Apartment residents face &pound;419 million bill to repair water damage.</h2> <p><strong>&pound;2 billion invested in the last five years on repairing damage to flats caused by leaks</strong></p> <p><strong>100,000 Britons have lived with leaking toilet for over a year</strong></p> <p><strong>HomeServe&rsquo;s </strong><strong>Apartments &amp; Flats owner product provides cover for an owner&rsquo;s property</strong></p> <p>Leaking water pipes are causing billions of pounds worth of damage to flats and apartments as domestic water leaks are not repaired, according to new research* by HomeServe.&nbsp;</p> <p>New figures from the home emergency and maintenance experts reveal that around 1.67 million people have seen leaks from their flats cause damage to neighbouring properties &ndash; or vice versa &ndash; in the last five years.</p> <p>HomeServe estimates that the average cost of repairing water damage per flat or apartment is around &pound;1,933. That means that landlords and flat owners have spent as much as &pound;2.09 billion on repairs caused by leaks in the past five years, approximately &pound;419 million every year.&nbsp;</p> <p>The HomeServe research shows that the most likely causes of water damage to a neighbouring property or adjoining flat are leaking pipes, washing machines and toilets.</p> <p>According to HomeServe as many as 100,000 people have been living with a leaking toilet or cistern for more than a year.&nbsp; Water from flooded bathrooms can seep through ceilings to damage the rooms below, or in the case of flats, adjoining properties.&nbsp; A dripping tap alone can waste 140 litres of water a week and over 1.1 million Britons have encountered this problem in their homes in the last year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: &ldquo;Water leaks can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to a neighbouring property if they aren&rsquo;t sorted promptly and professionally. Often they seem innocuous or are even out of sight &ndash; if left unresolved the damage can be severe.&rdquo;</p> <p>The HomeServe research also showed that almost a quarter of a million flats owners (220,000) have been forced to pay between &pound;2,500 and &pound;25,000 for property repairs caused directly by leaks in the past five years. The company warns that while household budgets are stretched as a result of the recession, many families are putting off vital home repairs.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jon Florsheim added: &ldquo;People must be vigilant. If not caught early leaking pipes can cause significant damage that will cost a lot of money to put right. Left unchecked leaking water can cause damp, rot through joists and floor boards and compromise household electrical circuits, amongst other problems.&rdquo;</p> <p>HomeServe&rsquo;s Apartments and Flats product offers flat owners an effective solution to deal with household emergencies. &nbsp;The product provides an emergency response for problems with plumbing and drainage, electrics, boiler and central heating issues and even covers glazing and locks emergencies. The new products have been specifically designed for people living in flats.</p> <p><strong>- ends -</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <p>* ICM interviewed a random sample of 2014 adults aged 18+ online between 24th &ndash; 26th July 2009.&nbsp; Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.&nbsp; ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.&nbsp; Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Rowan / Ewan Robertson <br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7282 1049 or 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 293031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Every 40 seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network. HomeServe&rsquo;s new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Sale of Emergency Services Division2492009000<h2>Sale of Emergency Services Division</h2> <p>HomeServe plc today announces the sale of its Emergency Services Division (excluding the HomeServe Property Repairs businesses) (the "HES Disposal Division") to a newly incorporated company backed by Lloyds TSB Development Capital Limited and management. The total consideration will be up to &pound;11 million (before transaction costs) of which &pound;7.3 million was paid in cash on completion.</p> <p>The HES Disposal Division consists of the businesses operated by HomeServe Glass &amp; Locks, HomeServe Contents Services and Chem-Dry. These businesses provide repair and replacement services primarily to the end customer/ policyholder of general insurers in the United Kingdom through a network of directly employed, franchised and sub-contract engineers.</p> <p>In its last reported financial year to 31 March 2009, the HES Disposal Division generated a statutory profit before tax of &pound;2.4 million and had gross assets of &pound;54 million. We expect that this transaction will result in a loss on disposal of up to &pound;25m and that the net cash proceeds will be used to reduce the Group&rsquo;s net debt.</p> <p>The sale of the HES Disposal Division is consistent with HomeServe plc's previously announced strategic objectives enabling it to focus on the Group's higher margin, higher growth membership businesses.</p> <p>The Board continues to explore a range of options for the HomeServe Property Repairs businesses which are experiencing challenging market conditions. A further announcement will be made in due course.</p> <p>Richard Harpin, Chief Executive commented:</p> <p>"Following the successful reorganisation of our UK business and the decision to exit from the Emergency Services activities, today&rsquo;s announcement is a major step forward in the execution of our strategy. HomeServe is now focused on building a worldwide membership business from which we are well placed to deliver growth this financial year and into the future."</p> <p><strong>- ends -</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>General Media Enquiries:</strong></p> <p>Ian Whitaker <br /> HomeServe plc <br /> 07595 712 188</p> <p><strong>Financial/City Media Enquiries:</strong></p> <p>Stephen Malthouse / Andrew Honnor <br />020 7353 4200</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every 40 seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>West Midlands under seige from rogue traders9102009000<h2>WEST MIDLANDS UNDER SEIGE FROM ROGUE TRADERS</h2> <p><strong>West Midlands residents pay out &pound;461 million to fix rogue traders bodged jobs </strong></p> <p><strong>Homeowners charged &pound;88 call out fees for jobs that take five minutes to fix </strong></p> <p><strong>HomeServe launches its jobs on demand service* to offer peace of mind to Householders worried about finding a vetted, qualified tradesperson</strong></p> <p>New research from HomeServe, the UKs home repair and maintenance experts, reveals West Midlands residents have cumulatively paid out over &pound;461 million* to rectify bodged jobs by unscrupulous rogue traders. Victims of unskilled cowboy operators have been forced to pay out on average &pound;723.98 on repairs to their homes. With almost half (45%) of householders failing to get a written receipt for work completed and three quarters (73%) failing to secure a guarantee, West Midlands residents are leaving themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous operators.</p> <p>The report found that approximately a quarter of people (23%) in the West Midlands have fallen prey to cowboy builders, plumbers and electricians who completed shoddy work that needed rectifying. One in 10 (11%) residents in the West Midlands has been forced to bring in a new tradesman to repair a job bodged by a cowboy. Householders should look for suitably vetted tradesmen, as 142,000 residents of the West Midlands have found possessions or money missing after a tradesman had been in their property.</p> <p>Residents are failing to make the most basic checks to ensure that they only invite reputable tradesmen into their homes. Just 1% of West Midlands residents asked the last tradesmen they employed for proof of their qualifications, especially worrying given many tradesmen are required by law to have appropriate certification, boiler engineers for example must be on the Gas Safe Register. When hiring their last tradesman, just one in 20 (6%) asked for any references and three quarters (77%) failed to ask for a formal written quote for work completed or to shop around for several quotes to compare prices.</p> <p>In response to concerns regarding rogue tradesmen, HomeServe operates a jobs on demand** service offering householders in the West Midlands direct access via a single phone number to thousands of the companys specialist tradesmen, all of whom are quality vetted*** and capable of resolving hundreds of different emergency or repair &amp; maintenance jobs around the home.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: &ldquo;It is extremely worrying that thousands of householders across the West Midlands are being taken advantage of by under qualified and unscrupulous cowboy operators. The cost of repairing poorly completed building, electrical and plumbing jobs can run into thousands of pounds. It is extremely worrying that homeowners are failing to check the qualifications and credentials of those they invite into their home. For many trades there is mandatory training that the tradesmen must complete, an unqualified boiler repairman could risk poisoning a family with carbon monoxide.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Our jobs on demand service launched last year offers peace of mind to householders who are concerned that they might be faced with high call out charges from tradesmen before they have even started work on a job. In addition, HomeServe Approved tradesmen are appropriately trained and vetted, plus with a 12 month guarantee offered on all work homeowners can rest assured that they will never need to employ someone else to fix a bodged job.&rdquo;</p> <p>West Midlands residents are being stung by extremely high call out charges before any work is undertaken. Eight out of ten 10 plumbers operating in the Worcester surveyed in a mystery shopping exercise**** employed a call out charge as standard for every job they attend. In some instances this totals as much as &pound;88, just in call out charges before any work in undertaken to solve a blocked toilet when the fixture itself may take less than five minutes to fix if it is a simple job.</p> <h3>Worcester Plumbers call out charges</h3> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Tradesman / service required in Worcester</th> <th class="wid18">% charging call out fee</th> <th class="wid18">Cheapest call out charge</th> <th class="wid18">Most expensive call out charge</th> <th class="wid18">Difference</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Plumber</td> <td>80%</td> <td>&pound;50</td> <td>&pound;88</td> <td>&pound;38 (76%)</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source: HomeServe</p> <p>Other common problems that homeowners face after employing professional tradesmen include being left with mess to clear up (16%) and being harassed for endless cups of tea (17%). Employing unscrupulous tradesmen can prove to be a costly exercise, as almost one in 20 (224,000) householders in the West Midlands employed a tradesperson that managed to ruin furniture and other possessions in their homes. This is especially concerning as just 3% of residents checked the last tradesman they employed had appropriate insurance. A staggering 130,000 residents in the West Midlands have returned to their homes to find a plumber or builder smoking in their home without permission.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, continued: &ldquo;If a tradesman objects to showing you their qualifications or giving you a written quote, then this is reason enough to walk away. Our home is our most valuable asset so more care must be given to its protection.&rdquo;</p> <h3>About the jobs on demand service</h3> <p>The jobs on demand service gives homeowners in the region access to nine different trades resolving hundreds of jobs around the home. The service offers complete transparency to homeowners, with customers quoted a price upfront for any job before work is started. Emergency call-out times are under two hours for many trades and non-emergency jobs are available for customers to book at times that are convenient. HomeServe guarantees all work completed for 12 months, offering customers additional peace of mind.</p> <p>HomeServe tackles all major household emergencies and many vital jobs around the home. The service covers a variety of different trades, with contractors qualified to perform hundreds of jobs ranging from fixing leaking pipes and boiler repairs to repairing a broken washing machine, pest control and even aerial installations.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors</h3> <p>*ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,133 adults aged 18+ online 14<sup>th</sup> &ndash; 16<sup>th</sup> August 2009.&nbsp; Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.&nbsp; ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.&nbsp; Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <p>**The nine trades comprise plumbing, drainage, electrics, aerial services, appliance repair, locksmith, heating, pest control and glazing.</p> <p>*** All contractors joining the HomeServe network go through a rigorous application and approval process which requires them to complete a number of documents and supply evidence of insurance and competence where required by the law (eg Gas Safe registration).</p> <p>**** Research conducted by HomeServe amongst 147 tradesmen between 7<sup>th</sup> &ndash; 21<sup>st</sup> August 2009</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 29 30 31 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.</p> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than nine trades who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.1 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.2 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>East Midlands under seige from rogue traders9102009000<h2>EAST MIDLANDS UNDER SEIGE FROM ROGUE TRADERS</h2> <p><strong>East Midlands residents pay out &pound;219 million to fix rogue traders' bodged jobs </strong></p> <p><strong>Homeowners charged &pound;100 call out fees for jobs that take five minutes to fix </strong></p> <p><strong>HomeServe launches its 'jobs on demand' service* to offer peace of mind to Householders worried about finding a vetted, qualified tradesperson</strong></p> <p>New research from HomeServe, the UK's home repair and maintenance experts, reveals East Midlands residents have cumulatively paid out over &pound;219 million* to rectify bodged jobs by unscrupulous rogue traders. Victims of unskilled cowboy operators have been forced to pay out on average &pound;460.47 on repairs to their homes. With almost half (47%) of householders failing to get a written receipt for work completed and three quarters (74%) failing to secure a guarantee, East Midlands residents are leaving themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous operators.</p> <p>The report found that around one in five people (17%) in the East Midlands have fallen prey to cowboy builders, plumbers and electricians who completed shoddy work that needed rectifying. One in 20 residents in the East Midlands has been forced to bring in a new tradesman to repair a job bodged by a cowboy.</p> <p>Residents are failing to make the most basic checks to ensure that they only invite reputable tradesmen into their homes. Just 4% of East Midlands residents asked the last tradesmen they employed for proof of their qualifications, especially worrying given many tradesmen are required by law to have appropriate certification, boiler engineers for example must be on the Gas Safe Register. When hiring their last tradesman, less than one in 10 (8%) asked for any references and almost three quarters (72%) failed to ask for a formal written quote for work completed or to shop around for several quotes to compare prices.</p> <p>In response to concerns regarding rogue tradesmen, HomeServe has launched a new 'jobs on demand**' service offering householders in the East Midlands direct access via a single phone number to thousands of the company's specialist tradesmen, all of whom are quality vetted*** and capable of resolving hundreds of different emergency or repair &amp; maintenance jobs around the home.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: &ldquo;It is extremely worrying that thousands of householders across the East Midlands are being taken advantage of by under qualified and unscrupulous cowboy operators. The cost of repairing poorly completed building, electrical and plumbing jobs can run into thousands of pounds. It is extremely worrying that homeowners are failing to check the qualifications and credentials of those they invite into their home. For many trades there is mandatory training that the tradesmen must complete, an unqualified boiler repairman could risk poisoning a family with carbon monoxide.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Our new 'jobs on demand' service offers peace of mind to householders who are concerned that they might be faced with high call out charges from tradesmen before they have even started work on a job. In addition, HomeServe Approved tradesmen are appropriately trained and vetted, plus with a 12 month guarantee offered on all work homeowners can rest assured that they will never need to employ someone else to fix a bodged job.&rdquo;</p> <p>East Midlands residents are being stung by extremely high call out charges before any work is undertaken. Seven out of 10 tradespeople operating in the East Midlands surveyed in a mystery shopping exercise**** employed a call out charge as standard for every job they attend. In some instances this totals as much as &pound;100, when the job itself may take less than five minutes to fix if it is a simple job.</p> <p><strong>Table One: East Midlands tradesmen's call out charges</strong></p> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Tradesman / service required</th> <th class="wid20">% charging call out fee</th> <th class="wid20">Cheapest call out charge</th> <th class="wid20">Most expensive call out charge</th> <th class="wid20">Difference</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Plumber</td> <td>14%</td> <td>&pound;30</td> <td>&pound;75</td> <td>&pound;45 (150%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Drainage consultant / pipe cleaner</td> <td>5%</td> <td>&pound;25</td> <td>&pound;89</td> <td>&pound;64 (256%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Electrician</td> <td>80%</td> <td>&pound;10</td> <td>&pound;45</td> <td>&pound;35 (350%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Locksmith</td> <td>90%</td> <td>&pound;50</td> <td>&pound;100</td> <td>&pound;50(100%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Appliance repair specialist</td> <td>76%</td> <td>&pound;18.50</td> <td>&pound;88</td> <td>&pound;69.50 (376%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Heating engineer</td> <td>57%</td> <td>&pound;30</td> <td>&pound;75</td> <td>&pound;45 (150%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Pest controller</td> <td>90%</td> <td>&pound;35</td> <td>&pound;50</td> <td>&pound;15 (43%)</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Totals</td> <td>Average across all trades (69%)</td> <td>&pound;198.50</td> <td>&pound;522</td> <td>&pound;323.50 (163%0</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source: HomeServe</p> <p>Other common problems that homeowners face after employing professional tradesmen include being left with mess to clear up (14%) and being harassed for endless cups of tea (15%). Employing unscrupulous tradesmen can prove to be a costly exercise, as almost one in 20 (154,000) householders in the East Midlands employed a tradesperson that managed to ruin furniture and other possessions in their homes. This is especially concerning as just 2% of residents checked the last tradesman they employed had appropriate insurance. A staggering 35,000 residents in the East Midlands have returned to their homes to find a plumber or builder smoking in their home without permission.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, continued: &rdquo;If a tradesman objects to showing you their qualifications or giving you a written quote, then this is reason enough to walk away. Our home is our most valuable asset so more care must be given to its protection.&rdquo;</p> <h3>About the jobs on demand service</h3> <p>The launch of the 'jobs on demand' service will give homeowners in the region access to nine different trades resolving hundreds of jobs around the home. The service offers complete transparency to homeowners, with customers quoted a price upfront for any job before work is started. Emergency call-out times are under two hours for many trades and non-emergency jobs will be available for customers to book at times that are convenient. HomeServe will guarantee all work completed for 12 months, offering customers additional peace of mind.</p> <p>Customers can expect HomeServe to tackle all major household emergencies and many vital jobs around the home. The new service covers a variety of different trades, with contractors qualified to perform hundreds of jobs ranging from fixing leaking pipes and boiler repairs to repairing a broken washing machine, pest control and even aerial installations.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors</h3> <p>*ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,133 adults aged 18+ online 14<sup>th</sup> &ndash; 16<sup>th</sup> August 2009.&nbsp; Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.&nbsp; ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.&nbsp; Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <p>**The nine trades comprise plumbing, drainage, electrics, aerial services, appliance repair, locksmith, heating, pest control and glazing.</p> <p>*** All contractors joining the HomeServe network go through a rigorous application and approval process which requires them to complete a number of documents and supply evidence of insurance and competence where required by the law (eg Gas Safe registration).</p> <p>**** Research conducted by HomeServe amongst 147 tradesmen between 7<sup>th</sup> &ndash; 21<sup>st</sup> August 2009</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 29 30 31 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.</p> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than nine trades who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.1 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.2 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Couples look to get 'In Sink'28102009000<h2>COUPLES LOOK TO GET &lsquo;IN SINK&rsquo;</h2> <p><strong>87% of plumbers in the East Midlands have seen an increase in the number of his and hers sink installations in the last twelve months.</strong></p> <p><strong>Bad habits and the need for &lsquo;couple time&rsquo; fuelling increased demand</strong></p> <p>New research from HomeServe published today reveals his and her sinks are the new bathroom &lsquo;must-have&rsquo;. In a survey amongst East Midland plumbers* 87% said they had seen a dramatic increase in requests for second sinks in ensuite and family bathrooms over the past 12 months. One plumber commented, &ldquo;Second bathroom sinks are currently extremely popular. I seem to be installing them the whole time at the moment.&rdquo;</p> <p>With men spending more time in front of the bathroom mirror than ever before, competition is fierce. HomeServe plumbers have reported that the trend towards second sinks is primarily fuelled by women having had enough of men leaving the sink dirty. In a recent survey, a top pet hate amongst women was their partner leaving remnants of toothpaste in the sink.**</p> <p>As Britons become increasingly time-pressured, working the longest hours in Europe, HomeServe reports that couples are also looking at innovative ways to spend more time together. With little time in the evening, the bathroom has become the new place to catch up on the day&rsquo;s news and gossip.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: &ldquo;Installing a sink yourself or using an unqualified handyman may end up costing you hundreds of pounds if it&rsquo;s done incorrectly. We found in our own research that righting the wrongs of poor tradesmen sets people back an average of &pound;1,200. People should also make sure that the tradesman provides a guarantee on their work as poor workmanship may not be covered by your household insurance&rdquo;.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to Editors</h3> <p>(*)Analysis of HomeServe plumber responses</p> <p>(**) &ldquo;Behind the Shower Curtain&rdquo; study by Water Pik Inc</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7282 2981</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 29 30 31 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.</p> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than nine trades who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.1 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.2 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Over 2 million Britons live in properties of disrepair30102009000<h2>Over 2 million Britons live in properties of disrepair</h2> <p><strong>Over 500,000 people aged 25-34 live in a property which is in bad condition</strong></p> <p><strong>Over 700,000 people have been injured as a result of their property being in disrepair</strong></p> <p><strong>Women twice as likely to live in homes of disrepair </strong></p> <p>New research from HomeServe,* the UK&rsquo;s home repair and maintenance experts, reveals that 2.2 million people live in a building that is in a poor state of repair.</p> <p>For those living in buildings of disrepair there is an increased risk of personal injury. Indeed over 700,000 people have been injured in poorly maintained homes. Shockingly, nearly 170,000 of over 65s, the most vulnerable age group, are living in poorly maintained homes and are exposed to this injury risk.</p> <p>The research revealed that people aged 25-34 are most likely to live in a property of bad condition, with over 500,000 claiming that they do. Over 300,000 people in this age group have also suffered an injury related to poor home maintenance. Next in line are those aged 55-64, with around 400,000 living in disrepair.</p> <p>Interestingly, over twice as many women than men are living in a poor condition home. This may be due to their reluctance to carry out DIY tasks, as just 24% of women say they do their own maintenance work, whereas 75% of men tackle DIY themselves.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: </strong>&ldquo;It is understandable that some people lack the confidence to carry out home maintenance and repair as it can be tricky and time-consuming, and no one should ever carry out a DIY task that is beyond their capability. However it is clear that a significant number of people are exposing themselves to injury risk, not to mention reducing their personal enjoyment and comfort of their homes through lack of maintenance. It is also important to remember, that if you allow your home to fall further and further into disrepair, it may be devalued and you could have problems selling it, especially in the tough housing market we have now.</p> <p>&ldquo;The likelihood of a home emergency occurring, such as a bathroom flood or pest infestation, is vastly increased with lack of home maintenance and property awareness. In cases such as these, HomeServe is a quick call away and the problem can be resolved. Of course some home emergencies cannot be avoided, but it is best to give your home a regular check and repair it where you can in order to avoid nasty surprises.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors</h3> <p>*ICM interviewed a random sample of 2205 adults aged 18+ online 4<sup>th</sup> &ndash; 6<sup>th</sup> September 2009.&nbsp; Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.&nbsp; ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.&nbsp; Further information at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/">www.icmresearch.co.uk</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact</h3> <p>Holly Clark / Sophie Woodcock<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7638 9571</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 29 30 31 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.</p> <p>Every minute a Homeserve engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than nine trades who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.1 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.2 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>When will we ever learn?5112009000<p><strong>Publication embargo: 5</strong><sup><strong>th</strong></sup><strong> November 2009</strong></p> <h2>WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN?</h2> <p><strong>Roger Cook, the UK&rsquo;</strong><strong>'</strong><strong>s leading investigative journalist on rogue traders issues new warning after HomeServe research finds the front door is still wide open to rogue traders</strong></p> <p>Roger Cook, Britain&rsquo;'s leading investigative journalist, has today teamed up with HomeServe, the UK&rsquo;'s home repair and maintenance experts to issue a renewed warning to households following alarming findings from a new report by HomeServe.</p> <p>Despite the well publicised issue of rogue traders only 48 per cent of people asked for a receipt when they last hired a tradesman, rendering them powerless to seek recourse should they find the work to be sub-standard at a later time. Worse still, only a quarter of people (25%) asked for a guarantee on the work that was undertaken. But the most frightening statistic, according to Cook, is the finding that around one in eight people (13%) paid for the work before it is completed.</p> <p>Cook, who found fame though his programme The Cook Report, has crusaded for many years, investigating and exposing criminals and con-men. His stark warning comes after HomeServe&rsquo;'s research found that British householders are not heeding advice on how to avoid being stung by bogus builders and rogue traders.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: &ldquo;For years people like Roger have been warning about the danger of rogue traders but still people don&rsquo;'t believe it can happen to them. There&rsquo;'s no easy way to spot a rogue trader and it&rsquo;'s more than likely they will come across as affable and honest. Many of these guys have been perfecting their act for years.&rdquo;</p> <p>The HomeServe research also found that only three per cent of people checked the qualifications and insurance held by the last tradesmen they used.</p> <p>Roger Cook commented: &ldquo;I&rsquo;'ve been warning people for years, but still we are falling prey to unscrupulous tradesmen. The problem is that people think they will be able to spot a rogue trader but it&rsquo;'s almost impossible. The best way to avoid this is to use a recognised company that offers an upfront quote, a guarantee on work undertaken and one where you don&rsquo;'t pay a penny until you&rsquo;'re happy with the work they have done.</p> <h2>About HomeServe jobs on demand service</h2> <p>The launch of the &lsquo;'jobs on demand&rsquo;' service will see householders in the region have access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home. The service offers complete transparency to householders, with customers quoted a price upfront for any job before work is started. Emergency call-out times are under two hours for many trades and non-emergency jobs will be available for customers to book at times that are convenient. HomeServe will guarantee the majority of work completed for 12 months, offering customers additional peace of mind.</p> <p>Customers can expect HomeServe to tackle all major household emergencies and many vital jobs around the home. The new service covers a variety of different trades, with contractors qualified to perform hundreds of jobs ranging from fixing leaking pipes and boiler repairs to repairing a broken washing machine, pest control and even aerial installations.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors</h3> <p>*ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,133 adults aged 18+ online 4<sup>th</sup> &ndash;6<sup>th</sup> September 2009.&nbsp;</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Ewan Robertson/Holly Clark<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7282 2981 or 020 7282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a Homeserve engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.1 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.2 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe names Marie Curie Cancer Care as national charity partner16112009000<p><strong>Publication embargo: 16th November 2009</strong></p> <h2>HOMESERVE NAMES MARIE CURIE CANCER CARE AS NATIONAL CHARITY PARTNER</h2> <p><strong>Walsall head office aims to raise enough money to provide 15,000 hours of Marie Cure nursing care</strong></p> <p><strong>Sir Peter Davis, Chairman of Marie Curie Cancer Care and Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, plant a daffodil bulb to signify start of partnership</strong></p> <p>HomeServe, the UK&rsquo;'s home repair and maintenance experts, has today named Marie Curie Cancer Care as its first national charity partner. HomeServe UK is hoping to support Marie Curie Cancer Care to the value of &pound;1 million over three years with Walsall staff alone aiming to raise enough money to provide 15,000 hours of Marie Curie nursing care.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership and Sir Peter Davis, Chairman of Marie Curie Cancer Care will plant a daffodil bulb and release a huge bunch of biodegradable red and yellow balloons to signify the start of the partnership on Monday 16<sup>th</sup> November at the HomeServe head office in Walsall. Money raised by HomeServe throughout the partnership will help Marie Curie Cancer Care to provide more free nursing care to terminally ill patients in the comfort of their own homes.</p> <p>As well as carrying out ongoing fundraising activities, HomeServe employees are also being given the chance to sign up for the &lsquo;'Pennies for Patients&rsquo;' scheme. This scheme enables staff to donate the spare pennies from their salary each month, and these will be sent direct to Marie Curie Cancer Care. If every current employee donated an average of 40p per month, it would add up to over &pound;38,000 during the lifetime of the partnership.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership said: &ldquo;We are delighted to be supporting Marie Curie Cancer Care. As well as using traditional fundraising channels, we are also able to offer our tradesman&rsquo;'s extensive range of skills to help those the charity cares for. &ldquo;</p> <p>Sir Peter Davis, Chairman of Marie Curie Cancer Care said: &ldquo;We are excited to be working with HomeServe UK. Most terminally ill patients want to die at home, where they are comfortable and surrounded by their loved ones. But in reality only half the population are able to do so. The money raised by HomeServe UK will help make this wish a reality.&rdquo;</p> <p>Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK&rsquo;'s largest charities and employs more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals. The charity expects to provide care to around 29,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its nine hospices this year.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors</h3> <p>For interviews and to send photographers on the day, please contact Alexandra Bell 0207 2822829 <a title="Email:Alexandra Bell" href="mailto:alexandra.bell@citigatedr.co.uk">alexandra.bell@citigatedr.co.uk</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Alexandra Bell/Holly Clark <br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson <br /> 020 7282 2829 or 020 7282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.1 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.2 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p> <h3>About Marie Curie Cancer Care</h3> <p>Marie Curie Nurses provide free care to patients with terminal cancer and other illnesses in their own homes.</p> <p>Around 70 per cent of the charity&rsquo;'s income comes from the generous support of thousands of individuals, membership organisations and businesses, with the balance of funds coming from the NHS.</p> <p>The charity has two centres for palliative care research, The Marie Curie Palliative Care Unit in London and The Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool. It also funds seven fundamental scientific research groups which investigate the causes and treatments of cancer.</p> <p>For more information about Marie Curie Cancer Care visit <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.mariecurie.org.uk/">www.mariecurie.org.uk </a>.</p>Are you ready for the 'Big Freeze'?9122009000<p><strong>Publication embargo: 9th December 2009</strong></p> <h2>ARE YOU READY FOR THE 'BIG FREEZE'?</h2> <p><strong>HomeServe names 9th to 15th of December the 'Boiler Breakdown Blackspot'</strong></p> <p><strong>Homes across the UK could be left in the cold this Christmas as a result of boiler failure on freezing December nights</strong></p> <p>With the MET office predicting* plummeting temperatures and overnight frosts this December many UK householders could face the misery of their boiler breaking down this holiday season. Unseasonably warm weather this year may have lulled many Britons into a false sense of security when it comes to boiler maintenance.</p> <p>With new statistics from HomeServe revealing that the danger blackspot for UK boiler breakdowns** is between December 9th and 15th, UK households need to take immediate action to ensure their boiler is in good shape to see them through the upcoming cold snap.</p> <p>Over the last three years the overnight temperature has dropped as low as -12&deg; between the 9th and 15th of December,*** resulting in record call outs for HomeServe engineers to attend to broken down boilers. In 2007, the temperature over this period dropped to -10&deg;, causing boiler breakdown claims to jump by 131% compared to the previous week.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership,</strong> said: "Coming into December the overnight temperature can drop dramatically, causing significant problems for our boilers and meaning many UK households wake up to a freezing house with no heating or hot water for baths and showers.</p> <p>"Also, indoor pipes can burst in cold weather, so if you are going away this Christmas, make sure you time your heating to come on once a day. This will help to avoid having problems with your heating when you get back."</p> <h3>About HomeServe's boiler breakdown service</h3> <p>HomeServe's Boiler Cover starts at just &pound;5.58 per month (current winter sale price,**** with &pound;50 excess). Attendance is always by an approved Gas Safe registered engineer and customers are safe in the knowledge that there will be no unexpected repair bills.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors</h3> <p>*BBC Weather UK forecast <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/">news.bbc.co.uk/weather/</a><br />** Based on 2006, 2007 and 2008 boiler breakdown call outs from HomeServe<br />*** Taken from the MET Office weather summaries <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk">www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk</a><br />**** For more information on the HomeServe winter sale - with up to 25% off regular prices - visit: <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/wintersale">www.homeserve.com/wintersale</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark<br />Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br />020 7282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.2 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe Expands with Launch of Full Home Repairs and Improvements Business1492008000<h2>HomeServe Expands With Launch of Full Home Repairs and Improvements Business</h2> <ul> <li>National scheme to be launched in the West Midlands first</li> </ul> <p>HomeServe Plc will be expanding the business with the launch of its unique home repairs, maintenance and improvements arm.</p> <p>The company, traditionally known for providing home emergency insurance, will offer consumers direct access to thousands of their specialist tradesmen who are quality checked* and capable of resolving almost any problem in the home.</p> <p>The new service, which launches on 15th September, will retain the brand name &ldquo;HomeServe&rdquo; and will provide consumers with a 'one stop shop' solution for almost any home repair, emergency or maintenance job. The new scheme is being launched in the West Midlands, where demand and volume will be tested.</p> <p>And the new scheme will be totally transparent, with customers being quoted a price for the job before work is started. Emergency callout times are under two hours for many trades, and non-emergency jobs will be available for customers to book at times to suit them. HomeServe will guarantee its work for a 12 month period, offering customers' peace of mind.</p> <p>Customers can expect HomeServe to help with almost any job around the home. The new service is split between some 22 different trades, with contractors who will be qualified to perform around 500 jobs ranging from fixing leaking pipes and boiler repairs to repairing a septic tank, boarding a loft, roof repairs, pest control and cosmetic enhancements such as painting and decorating. HomeServe's handyman service will even mean that someone will come round to help customers move heavy furniture.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: "HomeServe has been providing a home emergency service to its customers via its insurance business for 14 years. It is a natural progression for us to harness the expertise we have established and to build the business into a household name for home repairs and emergencies.</p> <p>"We already have the infrastructure in place to offer one the UK's widest range of tradesmen and women &ndash; every forty seconds an engineer provided by HomeServe comes to the rescue of a British household thanks to our insurance business. Now everyone can access our engineers without having to be an insurance customer.</p> <p>"Every red HomeServe van that arrives at a customer's door will contain a specialist who is already directly employed or whose business has been quality checked.</p> <p>"The West Midlands was the obvious place to start the roll out of this nationwide scheme as it is our home! HomeServe has its headquarters in Walsall and employs some 1,500 people locally, many of whom live in the area. It made perfect sense to launch something as big as this on our doorstep. Equally the West Midlands has a good cross-section of the UK population so it's an appropriate place to gain a representative analysis of who the service is attracting most.</p> <p>"The insurance business continues to thrive and we expect people to see the value in insuring their properties against home emergencies once they have used HomeServe. We therefore anticipate that our core business model will be positively affected by this new venture."</p> <p>With over 4,000 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p> <p>*All contractors joining the HomeServe network go through a rigorous application and approval process which requires them to complete a number of documents and supply evidence of insurance and competence where required by the law (e.g. Gas Safe Register* registration);</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark / Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 0207 282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>One in Two Tradesmen 'Off Duty' This Bank Holiday2182008000<h2>ONE IN TWO TRADESMEN 'OFF DUTY' THIS BANK HOLIDAY</h2> <ul> <li>Half of all tradesmen will not be doing bank holiday callout - even in emergencies</li> <li>Those calling out tradesmen face a 13% premiums on call-out costs alone</li> <li>Londoners most likely to struggle to find a tradesmen </li> <li>Midlands and Wales face highest premiums of 29%</li> </ul> <p>Finding a plumber, electrician or glazier on Bank Holiday Monday is likely to send those suffering DIY disasters 'round the bend' according to a poll of tradesmen conducted by HomeServe, the national home emergency service.</p> <p>Recent reports suggest that many people will be economising by staying home this weekend, and as many of 22 per cent * of people turning their hand to work around the home. According to HomeServe those who experience the most common DIY disasters such as nails through water pipes, cut cables or broken windows will struggle to find someone to right their wrongs. Almost half (51%) of all tradesmen will be off duty over the bank holiday weekend, with this figure rising to 57 per cent in London.</p> <p>The research found that those tradesmen charging a call-out fee over the bank holiday will pay an average fee of &pound;51 for a tradesman to set foot inside their door. This is 13 per cent more than the average call-out fee charged on a weekday (&pound;45). According to HomeServe, calls to its own home emergency insurance hotline increase by an average of 25 per cent over the bank holiday period.</p> <p>The research suggests that finding a plumber will prove slightly easier than an electrician - around 51 per cent of plumbers work on bank holiday weekends compared to around 45 per cent of electricians.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership</strong> commented: "Bank holidays have always been amongst the busiest in the year for keen DIYers and this weekend will be no exception with many people planning to stay home and save money. The best way to ensure that you are not caught out paying inflated premiums or worse still not being able to find any help, is to take out the appropriate level of insurance that will cover you should your DIY attempts not go according to plan."</p> <p>HomeServe is anticipating a surge in demand this weekend by DIYers in distress after the last bank holiday weekend saw an overall increase of 25 per cent in the number of DIY emergency related calls. The Company experienced a 73 per cent uplift in the number of electrical emergencies such as severed electrical cables and power failure due to overloads power circuits. It also experienced an increase of 21 per cent in calls relating to plumbing emergencies such as nails through water pipes and garden picks through outside drainage pipes.</p> <h3>Tradesmen working over the Bank Holiday</h3> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Area</th> <th class="wid20">Percentage working</th> <th class="wid30">Bank holiday call-out charge</th> <th class="wid30">Premium on weekday costs</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">London</td> <td>43%</td> <td>&pound;54</td> <td>4%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">South West &amp; South Coast</td> <td>53%</td> <td>&pound;53</td> <td>10%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Midlands and Wales</td> <td>45%</td> <td>&pound;54</td> <td>29%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">North and Scotland</td> <td>50%</td> <td>&pound;44</td> <td>5%</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <p><strong>* Research by e-sure</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark/ Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p> <p>All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,141 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 17th October 2007. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)</p>Home Sellers Resort to Dirty Tricks to Hook Buyers2182008000<h2>HOME SELLERS RESORT TO DIRTY TRICKS TO HOOK BUYERS</h2> <ul> <li>A quarter of sellers (24%) admit to hiding or lying about problems </li> <li>Sellers most likely to lie about broken boilers, problem parking and nightmare neighbours</li> </ul> <p><strong>Thursday 21st August 2008</strong>, Almost a quarter of sellers admit to having lied about, or hidden problems with their property in an attempt to make it more appealing to prospective buyers according to new research* released today from HomeServe, the UK's national home emergency service.</p> <p>With the average time taken to sell a property reported to have doubled from 5.5 to 13.5 weeks and the number of deals falling through between offer and completion soaring from eight to 13 per cent over the same period, the research suggests that a significant proportion of sellers are resorting to dirty tricks to hook buyers.</p> <p>Over the last year alone eight per cent of sellers admit to either failing to tell buyers about boiler or heating problems or lying about the age of their boiler. The same proportion admits to having lied about problems with parking in their area or kept quiet about nightmare neighbours.</p> <p>According to the research a worrying proportion of people have covered up cracks in their walls (6%), temporarily patched up leaking roofs (5%) or hidden evidence that they share their home with pests such as mice (3%).</p> <p>Commenting on the findings, <strong>Jon Florshiem CEO of HomeServe Membership</strong> said, "Buyers should take note of this worrying research. In the current housing market it has become increasingly difficult to sell property and unfortunately a worrying number of desperate sellers are resorting to hiding problems rather than paying money to have these problems rectified.</p> <p>"Buyers should thoroughly inspect the property before making an offer - ask sellers to move furniture, lift floor coverings and check that heating, water and electricity is in working order."</p> <p>Earlier HomeServe research found that the average homebuyer is forced to fork out &pound;1,961 to rectify problems with their new home that they weren't aware of. The same research found that buyers feel let down by homebuyer surveys with 60 per cent of recent buyers claiming to have uncovered a problem with their home that they expected to be uncovered in the survey undertaken when they bought their property.</p> <h3>Incidence of sellers covering up problems and costs</h3> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Problem</th> <th class="wid30">Incidence *</th> <th class="wid30">Average cost buyers spend to rectify problems</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Boiler/heating</td> <td>8%</td> <td>&pound;1,064</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Dampness</td> <td>20%</td> <td>&pound;1,334</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Boiler/heating</td> <td>20%</td> <td>&pound;1,064</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Roof</td> <td>16%</td> <td>&pound;884</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Dry rot or wood worm</td> <td>4%</td> <td>&pound;660</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Plumbing</td> <td>20%</td> <td>&pound;429</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Pests</td> <td>8%</td> <td>&pound;193</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>* % of sellers that admit to lying about, or hiding a problem from potential buyers</strong></p> <p>Jon Florshiem concluded, "In readiness for their completion date all buyers should ensure they have the right level of home insurance, including cover for emergencies as this can save them a small fortune in the event they should unearth a problem they had not anticipated."</p> <h3>Other key findings:</h3> <ul> <li> Sellers in the North of England were most likely to cover up problems with their new property (42%). Sellers in this region were most likely to admit to covering up cracks in the walls (14%) and leaking roofs (12%). </li> </ul> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark/ Sarah Rowan/ Billy Partridge<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917</p> <p>* ICM interviewed 1021 GB adults online between 27th - 29th June 2008</p> <p>** National Association of Estate Agents, meanwhile, reports that the average time a property takes to sell rose to almost 13 weeks in April, up from an average of 5&frac12; weeks one year earlier, while increasing numbers of deals are falling through between offer and completion - almost 13% of them, against just 8% this time last year.</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 5,000 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe Emergency insurance and home repairs company selects O2 for mobile voice and data1882008000<h2>O2 LANDS DEAL WITH HOMESERVE</h2> <ul> <li>Emergency insurance and home repairs company selects O2 for mobile voice and data</li> </ul> <p><strong>18 August 2008</strong>, O2 today announced that it has won a coveted contract with HomeServe plc, one of the UK's largest providers of home emergency insurance. O2 will provide voice and mobile data services in a three year deal that will see approximately 4,000 connections transferred to O2 from incumbent providers Orange and Vodafone, using devices including BlackBerry and PDAs.</p> <p>The deal will see O2 providing mobile solutions to enhance the efficiency and flexibility of the HomeServe workforce, ensuring its ability to respond to emergency calls as quickly as possible and maintaining the high levels of customer service it prides itself on. HomeServe considers mobile technology critical to the success of its business, with over 5,000 employees and sub contractors remotely located across the UK. O2's excellent UK network coverage was a significant factor in its selection as a mobile partner.</p> <p>Over the course of three years, O2 will work closely with HomeServe to provide various mobile solutions, including routing calls via a VPN to help reduce the overall cost to the business and enable employees to communicate economically and efficiently with customers. This is just one of a number of applications that O2 will offer to HomeServe employees and subcontractors to continue to assist and improve their business processes and efficiencies.</p> <p>Trevor Didcock, CIO at HomeServe plc said: "HomeServe is committed to providing unsurpassed customer service. We have thousands of tradesmen on the road and they all need to be in touch with our customers and offices 24/7. From real time updates on PDAs to communicating with customers via SMS, this new partnership with O2 will support our future ambition to stay ahead of the pack and ensure we are delivering a first rate service for our customers."</p> <p>Ben Dowd, Business Sales Director, O2 UK, said of the deal: "Mobile technology can be used for so much more than simple communication. As a business, customer service is at our core and we are delighted to be working with HomeServe to help them provide the very best service to their customers. "</p> <h3>About O2</h3> <ul> <li>Telef&oacute;nica O2 UK Limited is a leading communications company for consumers and businesses in the UK, with over 18.7 million mobile customers and over 190,000 fixed broadband customers as at 30 June 2008. </li> <li>Telef&oacute;nica O2 UK Limited is part of Telef&oacute;nica Europe plc which is a business division of Telef&oacute;nica S.A. and which owns O2 in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic, and has 43.8 million customers. </li> <li>In 2006 Telef&oacute;nica Europe acquired Be, the UK fixed broadband provider, and in October 2007O2 launched its broadband service using the Be network.</li> <li>O2 is the naming rights partner of The O2, the world-class entertainment venue.</li> <li>O2 was ranked the 6th best place to work in the Best Companies to Work for 2008 List and has been awarded a three-star accreditation denoting an 'extraordinary' company.</li> <li>O2 was launched on 1 May 2002 and now has more customers than any other UK mobile network. </li> <li>O2's UK mobile network covers 99% of the UK's population. O2's 3G network covers 80% of the UK population and is fully HSDPA-enabled, providing speeds of up to 1.8 MBps for customers with an HSDPA-enabled device. </li> <li>Telef&oacute;nica Europe also owns 50% of the Tesco Mobile joint venture in the UK and Ireland, and 50% of the Tchibo Mobilfunk joint venture business in Germany. </li> <li>For b-roll footage of O2, please visit <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.digitalnewsagency.com">www.digitalnewsagency.com</a></li> <li>For further press information about O2 go to <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://mediacentre.o2.co.uk">mediacentre.o2.co.uk</a></li> </ul> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household. With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p> <p>Visit<a href="http://www.homeserve.com"> www.homeserve.com</a> for handy hints around the home.</p> <p>For more information please contact:</p> <p>Ken Leitch<br /> 02 UK<br /> 07734 606319<br /> Email: <a title="Email: Ken Leitch" href="mailto:ken.leitch@o2.com">ken.leitch@o2.com</a></p> <p>Becca Daniel<br /> Skywrite Communications<br /> 020 7608 4650<br /> Email: <a title="Email: Becca Daniel" href="mailto:Becca.daniel@skywritecomms.com">Becca.daniel@skywritecomms.com </a></p> <p>Ian Whitaker<br /> HomeServe PLC<br /> 020 7374 3527<br /> Email: <a title="Email: Ian Whitaker" href="mailto:ian.whitaker@homeserve.com">ian.whitaker@homeserve.com </a></p> <p>Holly Clark<br /> Citigate<br /> 0207 282 2918<br /> Email: <a title="Email: Holly Clark" href="mailto:Holly.Clark@citigatedr.co.uk">Holly.Clark@citigatedr.co.uk</a></p>HomeServe to Start Rebrand in Preparation for Consumer Launch1672008000<h2>HomeServe to Start Rebrand in Preparation for Consumer Launch</h2> <ul> <li>New website will allow people to book tradesmen online</li> </ul> <p>16 June 2008 -- HomeServe, the UK's only national home emergency service, undertakes a major rebranding exercise as it prepares to launch a consumer brand for the first time in the Company's fifteen year history.</p> <p>The rebrand includes a complete overhaul of the website in response to increased consumer demand for sourcing and booking tradesmen on the Internet. The new site allows customers to book a tradesman online for a morning, afternoon or evening slot, as well as allowing customers to buy home emergency policies online.</p> <p>The new website also offers useful information such as hints and tips for basic problems, as well as advice for dealing with home emergencies. HomeServe has also invested in a series of easy to use, downloadable DIY videos designed to guide consumers through maintenance and repair tasks such as unblocking a sink, fixing squeaky floorboards and hanging a door. In response to the growing consumer appetite to become more 'green', the new website also includes a guide for making homes eco-friendly.</p> <p>Commenting on the rebrand and launch of the new HomeServe website, <strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership</strong>, said: "The HomeServe business has changed and grown considerably. As we embark on our launch direct to consumers, it was an opportune time to unveil a modern and innovative new brand. As well as offering great functionality such as online tradesmen bookings and policy purchase, our new website is also packed with useful information, hints and tips."</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark / Sarah Rowan / Billy Partridge<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>HomeServe, <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> or 0800 292 3031 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year</p> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 4,600 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to more than 22 trades who are qualified to carry out more than 500 different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Seven Million People Let Down by Worthless Homebuyer Surveys562008000<h2>SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE LET DOWN BY WORTHLESS HOMEBUYER SURVEYS</h2> <ul> <li>Average repair bill sets new homebuyers back almost &pound;2,000</li> <li>In the last five years 60% have discovered a horror in their new home </li> <li>Wiring and electrical problems top the list of buyer gripes (and are most costly)</li> </ul> <p>Almost seven million homebuyers (6.69 million) feel they have been let down by inadequate property surveys in the last five years, according to new research released today from HomeServe, the UK's national home emergency service.</p> <p>The alarming research found that homebuyers have spent a colossal &pound;13 billion on rectifying problems that they inherited with their new home - an average of &pound;1,961 for every new homebuyer who experienced a problem over the last five years.</p> <p>Topping the list of horrors for new buyers were electrical problems, with more than one in five people (21%) uncovering faulty wiring or dodgy electrics upon moving into their new home. One in five (20%) people was welcomed by a blocked toilet or pipes and the same proportion uncovered dampness. A further eight per cent of homebuyers moved into their new property only to find it already inhabited by pests such as mice, rats, ants or wasps.</p> <p>Problems with electrics were also the most costly for new homeowners. Those inheriting electrical problem were forced to shell out an average &pound;1,466 in repair costs. Homeowners also forked out an average &pound;1,064 to fix problems with their boiler and heating, &pound;429 to fix leaky pipes and blocked loos, whilst getting rids of unwanted pests set back homeowners an average &pound;193.</p> <p>The research suggests that homebuyers are failing to understand what surveys are expected to cover - 60 per cent of people said that they had expected their survey to have highlighted the problems they later uncovered. In the UK, homebuyer surveys are available in three grades, however even the most or comprehensive survey will not uncover problems that are hidden in areas difficult for surveyors to access.</p> <h3>Incidence and Costs</h3> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Problem</th> <th class="wid25">Incidence *</th> <th class="wid25">Average cost to repair</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Electrical</td> <td>21%</td> <td>&pound;1,466</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Dampness</td> <td>20%</td> <td>&pound;1,334</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Boiler/heating</td> <td>20%</td> <td>&pound;1,064</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Roof</td> <td>16%</td> <td>&pound;884</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Dry rot or wood worm</td> <td>4%</td> <td>&pound;660</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Plumbing</td> <td>20%</td> <td>&pound;429</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Pests</td> <td>8%</td> <td>&pound;193</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>* % of people who purchased a property in the last 5 years that experienced the problem</strong></p> <p>Commenting on the findings, <strong>Jon Florshiem CEO of HomeServe Membership</strong> said: "Hidden horrors can come as a nasty shock when buyers finally get the key to their new home but people should be aware of the limitations of surveys. If buyers are worried about unearthing costly problems, they should try to negotiate with the seller or agent to bring along an expert to check their new home before they make an offer.</p> <p>"In readiness for their completion date, homebuyers should ensure they have the right level of home insurance, including cover for emergencies, as this can save them a small fortune and leaves them with money to spend on more enjoyable purchases."</p> <h3>Other key findings:</h3> <ul> <li>New homeowners in the South East were plagued by problems with plumbing. More than one in four (26%) new homebuyers were welcomed with blocked loos, drains or pipes. </li> <li>People in the South East were also most likely to find their home already occupied by pests (13%). </li> <li>Faulty heaters and boilers posed problems for 26 per cent of new homeowners in the North of England. Northerners were also most likely to be hit with costly problems with their roof - resulting in the highest average repair cost for all regions (&pound;2,488). </li> </ul> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark/ Sarah Rowan/ Billy Partridge<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 5,000 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>RBS Insurance Awards HomeServe Contract2252008000<h2>RBS INSURANCE AWARDS HOMESERVE CONTRACT</h2> <ul> <li>HomeServe estimates that as many as 50% of insurance claims are inaccurately validated</li> <li>HomeServe&rsquo;s Contents Validation Service saves insurance companies up to 30% on accurate product replacement on claims</li> </ul> <p><strong>22 May 2008</strong>, HomeServe, the home emergency service provider, announces that is has been awarded a three-year contract by RBS Insurance to manage the insurer&rsquo;s contents validation hub for all claims made on high street commodities including electrical and electronic equipment.</p> <p>The HomeServe service is expected to save insurers millions of pounds on product replacements each year, validating in excess of 150,000 claims per annum. HomeServe Contents Validation service provides insurers with a scientific approach to contents validation. Instead of the current industry practice of crudely comparing products by similar product groups, HomeServe&rsquo;s system gives each product a brand weighted score that reflects the features of the product and the importance of those features. In effect, the service acts in the best interest of both Insurer and Customer by ensuring that the customer absolutely gets a fair &amp; accurate settlement for their claim, at the lowest cost to the Insurer.</p> <p><strong>Rob Liley, Strategic Development Director, HomeServe</strong> comments: &ldquo;This deal with RBS Insurance underlines the importance many of the major insurance brands now attach to accurate household contents validation. The over or under-compensation of customers can be commonplace across the insurance industry, with up to 50% of content claims being inaccurately validated</p> <p>&ldquo;As the insurance sector faces growing financial pressures to remove any unnecessary costs from household claims without compromising their service, we believe we have a robust solution that has the potential to save insurers up to 30% on contents claims by managing these through our integrated validation service and supply chain. Our solution also spells good news for our clients&rsquo; customers because they benefit from a greater choice of replacement products and an option of settlement methods such as cash, vouchers or like-for-like product.&rdquo;</p> <p>Supporting the service is HomeServe&rsquo;s proprietary validation system, Valid8, which comprises a comprehensive database of consumer products sold in the UK in the last 10 to 15 years, from brown and white goods to bikes cameras and jewellery. Its custom-designed functionality is able to select the most cost-effective replacement for the product which is the subject of the claim from a panel of suppliers, ensuring that insurers can provide like-for-like replacement products for its customers at the lowest cost.</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark/ Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 or 020 7282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 6.3 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.8 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>26 Million Brits Create Waste Mountain of Appliances952008000<h2>26 MILLION BRITS CREATE WASTE MOUNTAIN OF APPLIANCES</h2> <ul> <li>26.3 million households have not recycled unwanted white goods</li> <li>65% of Brits don't bother to try and get white good repaired</li> <li>Two in five people take their unwanted white good to their local tip</li> </ul> <p><strong>Xx May 2008</strong>, HomeServe, the home emergency insurance provider, today called for Brits to think before they dispose of their unwanted white goods. The call for action is supported by the company's research(1) that reveals that over the past five years, 26.3 million households have dumped unwanted white goods, such as fridges, freezers and washing machines.</p> <p>According to the research two in five people (38%) admit to just dumping their fridge or freezer at the local tip. Some 1.65 million claim to have a discarded white good sitting around their house or garden. HomeServe's own repair statistics suggest that a half of all white goods can be repaired cost effectively.</p> <p>The new findings also found that many people make no attempt to recycle their unwanted white goods, with two-thirds of Brits (65%) saying they did not bother to see if a broken white good could be fixed. Just 29% bothered to seek the professional advice of a qualified tradesman before adding their appliance to the scrapheap. HomeServe believes that this high figure is undoubtedly related to the fact that 24.4 million people surveyed did not have any insurance cover in place for repair of the white good.</p> <p>Another key reason behind the growing "white goods waste mountain" is the fact that a third (30%) of Brits admit to disposing of a white good that was still in working order. Indeed 5.41 million people said they had got rid of a white good because they either fancied an upgrade to a better model (15%) or because they were having their kitchen refurbished (3%).</p> <p>Furthermore only one in four people (27%) said they have recycled or donated their unwanted white good to another person over the past five years. Additionally 14% of people claim that their discarded white good was recycled via a manufacturer's recycling facility and only 13% donated it to a charity or friend.</p> <h3>Reasons cited for disposing of a white good</h3> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Reasons</th> <th class="wid30">Number of people</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">My old white good had stopped working</td> <td>21.1 million</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">I wanted a better model</td> <td>2.99 million</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Moved home and no longer needed</td> <td>1.50 million</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Saw a better deal and decided to upgrade</td> <td>1.37 million</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Cosmetic reasons eg replacement of kitchen</td> <td>1.04 million</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Was offered a new / second-hand white good by friend or family</td> <td>705,000</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Was left a white good by previous owner / family member but didn't need</td> <td>673,000</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, Chief Executive of HomeServe Membership,</strong> said: "We believe our research shows that there is still a lot of work to be done around changing the mindset of people towards the recycling of their white goods - and indeed persuading people to at least attempt to repair these goods before adding to the white good waste mountain."</p> <p>"The situation is compounded by the fact that many people are needlessly discarding white goods that are in working order or could be fixed by a qualified tradesman. Taking out insurance cover on these goods not only gives you peace of mind should a problem arise, it also potentially extends the life span of your appliance and helps in part to reduce the huge amount of white good waste."</p> <p>Ten months on from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive coming into effect, HomeServe believes that its research shows that there is still a lot of work to be done in changing the mindset towards recycling. Electrical and electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, with around 1.8 million tonnes generated every year(2). The main component of which is white goods, which make up 43% of the total.</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <p>(1) Research conducted online by TNS amongst 1,011 adults between 1st - 6th May 2008. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16 - 64). The omnibus research conducted by TNS uses a large sample size that reflects the demographic profile of Great Britain. Given this it is possible to extrapolate figures for Great Britain from the research results within appropriate confidence intervals.</p> <p>(2) See www.netregs.gov.uk and <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources/InformationSheets/ElectricalElectronic.htm">www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources/InformationSheets/ElectricalElectronic.htm</a></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark/ Sarah Rowan<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 020 7282 2917 or 020 7282 1049</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Everyforty seconds aHomeServe engineer comes to therescueof a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectlyemployed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair servicebackedbya 24 hourclaims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe alsooffers insurancecover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over5.8 million policy membersin theUK and a further 1.2 million in theUSA and France.</p>Rip-off Repairs: Pensioners Pay Extra in Emergencies152008000<h2>RIP-OFF REPAIRS: PENSIONERS PAY EXTRA IN EMERGENCIES</h2> <ul> <li>Over 55s face higher prices for repairs to boiler, gas, locks and roofing</li> </ul> <p>1 May 2008</p> <p>Pensioners facing emergency repairs in their home are in danger of being charged inflated prices by opportunist tradespeople, according to new research from HomeServe.</p> <p>The home emergency experts say people aged over 55 routinely pay higher bills for boiler repairs, central heating problems, gas leaks, door and window lock replacements and even roof repairs.</p> <p>The HomeServe figures show older homeowners - defined as people aged over 55 - pay on average &pound;382.33 more for a simple boiler repair than people aged under 55. Typically over 55s will be charged around &pound;1,015 for an emergency callout to fix a boiler, whereas under 55s pay on average &pound;632.68.</p> <p>And the same is also true of gas or heating repairs, with older people paying a typical &pound;681.67 to fix their gas or central heating in an emergency. According to HomeServe, under 55s are charged an average &pound;481.75 for the same service - some &pound;199 cheaper.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, Chief Executive of HomeServe Membership,</strong> said: "Older people can be an easy target for rogue tradesmen and unfortunately the statistics seem to show that many are still victims of overcharging.</p> <p>"You could argue that older homeowners may have larger houses and therefore more to repair, but we're talking about basic jobs like fixing a boiler or attending to a gas leak. In many cases these are standard emergency callouts but the prices charged across age groups vary, particularly when you split older people from the rest."</p> <p>The HomeServe poll of 2,000 homeowners also revealed that some 80 per cent of pensioners who experienced a home emergency last year did not have insurance to cover the unexpected expense.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim added: "At a time when many homeowners face escalating costs for other household bills such as mortgage repayments, petrol and energy, people do not want to be surprised with additional costs.</p> <p>"But for many pensioners a large outlay to mend a boiler is just not an option because their disposable income is already so low. Older people facing an emergency at home are extremely vulnerable and it is unfortunate that they end up paying over the odds for a tradesperson to come and fix a problem.</p> <p>"We would therefore urge homeowners to ensure they have adequate cover in the event of an emergency, whether it be a separate emergency policy or part of their home insurance."</p> <p>HomeServe offers a wide range of emergency insurance cover for, among other things, plumbing, drains and electrical wiring and pest contamination and handled over 1.2 million home emergencies last year alone. HomeServe's 'complete cover' emergency policy includes issues with heating, plumbing and drainage, water and gas supply pipe, electrics, locks as well as pest contamination, emergency roofing, glazing repairs, plumbing maintenance, all for &pound;324 a year.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <ul> <li><strong>Calculations:</strong> Number of homeowners in the UK today: 24,479,439 (Office National Statistics), 63% suffered a home emergency (15,422,046 households). 79% of these households had no insurance (12,183,416). Average cost of an emergency was &pound;494. For 12,183,416 houses, this is a total cost of &pound;6,018,607,984.</li> <li>Fieldwork was undertaken in February 2008 by ICM Research</li> </ul> <h3>For further press information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>Holly Clark/ Lisa Ward</strong><br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> Tel: 0207 282 2917 or 020 7282 2854</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectly employed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 5.8 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.2 million in the USA and France.</p> <p>All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,141 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 17th October 2007. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)</p>Crime Doesn't Pay - But it Does Cost2442008000<h2>CRIME DOESN'T PAY - BUT IT DOES COST</h2> <ul> <li>Official crime statistics show domestic burglaries up 5%</li> <li>Repair bill caused by burglaries could top &pound;546 million</li> </ul> <p>24 April 2008</p> <p>Homeowners who become victims of domestic burglaries face huge repair bills caused by vandalism and damages caused by the break-in, according to HomeServe.</p> <p>The home emergency expert estimates that last year the cost of repairing locks or windows caused by burglaries could have cost homeowners as much as &pound;546 million**.</p> <p>New figures show the number of domestic burglaries in England and Wales has increased by five per cent* and according to HomeServe cash-strapped homeowners who fall victim to a break-in could face repair costs of on average &pound;740 if their windows or locks are damaged.</p> <p>The high costs are primarily due to the startling number of households who are uninsured against damage caused by burglars. Typically home contents insurance only covers homeowners against the theft of their possessions and insurers do not pay out to replace locks or repair broken windows.</p> <p>New research from HomeServe shows that it costs homeowners an average &pound;740 to repair or replace windows and locks in an emergency, and would cost a further &pound;331 to repair any damaged white goods.</p> <p>According to official statistics released today some 738,000 homes in England and Wales were burgled in 2007 - an increase of 5% from 702,000 in 2006.</p> <p>And HomeServe is warning that homeowners who are already stretched financially face blowing a huge hole in the family budget if they have to call out repair companies to attend to damage caused by a burglary.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership,</strong> said: 'At a time when many face escalating costs for other household bills such as mortgage repayments, petrol and energy, people do not want to be surprised with additional costs. We would therefore urge homeowners to ensure they have adequate cover in the event of an emergency.'</p> <p>HomeServe offers a wide range of insurance cover for, among other things, plumbing, drains and electrical wiring and pest contamination and handled over 1.2 million home emergencies last year alone. HomeServe's 'complete cover' emergency policy includes issues with heating, plumbing and drainage, water and gas supply pipe, electrics, locks as well as pest contamination, emergency roofing, glazing repairs, plumbing maintenance, all for &pound;324 a year.</p> <p><strong>ends</strong></p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <ul> <li><strong>Calculations:</strong> Number of homeowners in the UK today: 24,479,439 (Office National Statistics), 63% suffered a home emergency (15,422,046 households). 79% of these households had no insurance (12,183,416). Average cost of an emergency was &pound;494. For 12,183,416 houses, this is a total cost of &pound;6,018,607,984.</li> <li>Fieldwork was undertaken in February 2008 by ICM Research.</li> </ul> <h3>For further press information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>Holly Clark/ Lisa Ward</strong><br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> Tel: 0207 282 2917 or 020 7282 2854</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectly employed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 5.8 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.2 million in the USA and France.</p> <p>All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,141 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 17th October 2007.The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)</p>£6 Billion Emergency Repair Bill for Uninsured Homes in 2008142008000<h2>&pound;6 billion emergency repair bill for uninsured homes in 2008</h2> <ul> <li>Average cost of emergency repairs was &pound;494</li> <li>79% had inadequate insurance cover</li> </ul> <p>1 April 2008</p> <p>A new report out today from home emergency experts, HomeServe, has revealed that more than six in ten British homes suffered a home emergency over the last 12 months but eight in ten (79%) had no emergency insurance to cover the unexpected expense.</p> <p>According to the study of more than 2,000 homeowners, the average bill for a home emergency set uninsured Brits back a staggering &pound;494. This soared to &pound;780 for the 15 per cent of households who were faced with repairing or replacing their boiler.</p> <p>The research showed that just 19 per cent of households have insurance which covered their emergency &ndash; of these; almost half were covered by their home contents insurance (46%) whilst 35 per cent had a separate home emergency policy.</p> <p>With unpredictable weather conditions in the UK over the last 12 months, many people have experienced additional problems with their property. In the North of England more than one in five (21%) homeowners carried out emergency repairs to their roof and the same amount carried out emergency repairs to their windows and doors &ndash; the highest figures in any region.</p> <p>Commenting on the findings of the research, <strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership,</strong> said: &ldquo;Our research shows that, without emergency insurance, repairs around the home can be very costly. At a time when many face escalating costs for other household bills such as mortgage repayments, petrol and energy, people do not want to be surprised with additional costs. We would therefore urge homeowners to ensure they have adequate cover in the event of an emergency.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Other findings</strong></p> <ul> <li>The age group most likely to be underinsured are the 35 to 44 year olds. &nbsp;Just 13 per cent of this age group had adequate cover for the home emergency.</li> <li>The research also found that one in five households (19%) experienced a plumbing emergency over the last 12 months, with the average home taking a hit of &pound;305 to rectify the emergency.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Table 1: Average costs for repairs</strong></p> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Emergency</th> <th class="wid40">Average emergency repair cost </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Plumbing</td> <td>&pound;305</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Gas and heating</td> <td>&pound;568</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Electrical</td> <td>&pound;221</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Windows and door locks</td> <td>&pound;740</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Pest infestation and resulting damage</td> <td>&pound;248</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">White goods</td> <td>&pound;331</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Roofing</td> <td>&pound;760</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>HomeServe offers a wide range of insurance cover for, among other things, plumbing, drains and electrical wiring and pest contamination and handled over 1.2 million home emergencies last year alone. HomeServe's 'complete cover' emergency policy includes issues with heating, plumbing and drainage, water and gas supply pipe, electrics, locks as well as pest contamination, emergency roofing, glazing repairs, plumbing maintenance, all for &pound;324 a year.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <ul> <li><strong>Calculations:</strong> Number of homeowners in the UK today: 24,479,439 (Office National Statistics), 63% suffered a home emergency (15,422,046 households). 79% of these households had no insurance (12,183,416). Average cost of an emergency was &pound;494. For 12,183,416 houses, this is a total cost of &pound;6,018,607,984.</li> <li>Fieldwork was undertaken in February 2008 by ICM Research.</li> </ul> <h3>For further press information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>Holly Clark/ Lisa Ward</strong><br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> Tel: 0207 282 2917 or 020 7282 2854</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectly employed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 5.8 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.2 million in the USA and France.</p> <p>All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,141 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 17th October 2007. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)</p>HomeServe Selects Experian as Strategic Marketing Partner532008000<h2>HOMESERVE SELECTS EXPERIAN AS STRATEGIC MARKETING PARTNER</h2> <p>5 March 2008</p> <p>Experian&reg; today announced it has signed a five-year contract with HomeServe plc, the UK's home emergency service. The deal will see Experian's Integrated Marketing division create a bespoke database marketing system to assist HomeServe in maximising the effectiveness of its current marketing activity and to further develop new marketing programmes.</p> <p>The partnership will provide HomeServe with a fully integrated platform including prospect data, analytics, campaign management and workflow tools.</p> <p>Using this solution, HomeServe will be able to create higher performing customer acquisition, loyalty and cross-sell campaigns, supported by personalised content.</p> <p><strong>Geoff Love, Marketing Director, HomeServe Membership, commented:</strong> "This is a major leap forward in our marketing capabilities and in partnering with Experian we believe we will see a step change in our marketing effectiveness. Experian's blend of technology, data and consultancy will improve the effectiveness of our communications to customers and prospects and help us unlock new segments."</p> <p><strong>Duncan Painter, Managing Director for Experian's Integrated Marketing division, added:</strong> "Our work with HomeServe demonstrates the heavyweight marketing talent we bring to the table. It is all powered by our intelligence-led approach, focused solely on achieving exceptional returns for our clients. Major brands like HomeServe turn to us to provide them with this kind of capability, simply because we know how to unlock their data's potential to deliver hard and fast, measurable financial results."</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>For further press information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>James Russell</strong><br /> Head of PR<br /> Experian<br /> Marketing Solutions<br /> Tes: +44 (0) 115 828 7269<br /> <a title="Email: James Russell" href="mailto:james.russell@uk.experian.com">james.russell@uk.experian.com</a></p> <h3>About Experian</h3> <p>Experian is a global leader in providing analytical, information and marketing services to organisations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.</p> <p>Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organisations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage.</p> <p>For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence.</p> <p>Clients include organisations from financial services, retail and catalogue, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.</p> <p>Experian Group Limited is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE-100 index. It has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, California and Nottingham, UK. Experian employs more than 15,500 people in 36 countries worldwide, supporting clients in more than 60 countries. Annual sales are $3.8 billion (&pound;1.9 billion/&euro;2.8 billion).</p> <p>For more information, visit the Group's website on <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.experiangroup.com">www.experiangroup.com</a>.</p> <p><strong>The word 'Experian' is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd and/or its associated companies.</strong></p> <p><strong>For more information, visit the company's website on <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.experian.com">www.experian.com</a>.</strong></p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectly employed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 5.8 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.2 million in the USA and France.</p>HomeServe Signs Major Agreement with Daewoo Electronics2022008000<h2>HOMESERVE SIGNS MAJOR AGREEMENT WITH DAEWOO ELECTRONICS</h2> <ul class="redBullet"> <li>Deal represents move into white and brown good warranties</li> <li>HomeServe to market to Daewoo Electronics customers</li> </ul> <p>20 February 2008</p> <p>HomeServe, one of the UK's largest providers of warranty marketing, repair and maintenance solutions for household goods and home infrastructure, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Daewoo Electronics - a world leader in the home electronics market.</p> <p>The partnership, which is a long-term agreement, will see HomeServe market warranties to Daewoo Electronics customers. As part of the deal Daewoo Electronics and its customers will benefit from HomeServe's extensive infrastructure including its 1,500 people call centre and network of over 5,000 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers. Daewoo Electronics will also be able to gain valuable insight into customers through the HomeServe database. Additionally Daewoo Electronics customers will benefit from exclusive deals on a suite of other HomeServe products.</p> <p>This new partnership with Daewoo Electronics is significant for HomeServe as it strengthens its position in warranties for white and brown goods, where it already serves Rangemaster, Fagor and De Dietrich customers. It also helps to build its expertise and reputation as a complete provider of home solutions.</p> <p>Commenting on the appointment Richard Harpin, Chief Executive, HomeServe plc said: "We are really pleased to welcome Martin to HomeServe. Martin has an impressive track record and we're confident that he has the breadth and depth of experience to help us deliver our ambitious plans. Along with the management team, Martin will be central in leading our business growth, specifically our people strategy."</p> <p><strong>James Cashmore, Trading Director, HomeServe Warranties said:</strong> "We are delighted that Daewoo Electronics has selected HomeServe as its sole provider of warranty products. We are confident that our complex and efficient infrastructure combined with our excellent track record in service will benefit both Daewoo and its customers."</p> <p>Daewoo Electronics has just launched an extensive range of High Definition <abbr title="Liquid Crystal Display">LCD</abbr> TVs including a luxury 46" model that is 1080p "Full <abbr title="High Definition">HD</abbr>" compatible. It has also just launched a unique product that will copy <abbr title="Video Home System">VHS</abbr> tapes to <abbr title="Digital Versatile Disc">DVD</abbr> as well as recording from Freeview either onto <abbr title="Video Home System">VHS</abbr> or <abbr title="Digital Versatile Disc">DVD</abbr>.</p> <h3>About HomeServe partnerships</h3> <p>HomeServe partnerships are aimed at driving profit and adding value to a huge range of businesses. HomeServe currently works with over 150 partners including utility companies, insurers and credit card companies. By providing their customers with HomeServe's products and services, partners benefit from:</p> <ul class="redBullet"> <li> Profit growth </li> <li> Greater breadth - with products that complement their existing offering </li> <li> Added value to their customer proposition and form closer customer relationships </li> <li> Reduced internal costs - all supply functions are outsourced </li> <li> Brand development - products and services can be white labelled </li> <li> An excellent customer experience - in home repairs alone, HomeServe achieved 94.9% customer satisfaction in 2005-06 for those surveyed </li> <li> A total solution because HomeServe project manages every aspect of the partnership </li> </ul> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>Holly Clark/Lisa Ward</strong> <br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson <br /> 0207 282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectly employed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 5.8 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.2 million in the USA and France.</p> <h3>About Daewoo Electronics</h3> <p>Daewoo Electronics is an established world leader in the home electronics market. Established in 1971, it has since grown into a global business with more than 64 production sites, R&amp;D and sales centres in more than 40 countries worldwide. Daewoo Electronics Sales UK (DESUK) was established in November 1993.</p> <p>With a comprehensive range of white and brown goods from refrigeration, microwaves and floor care to state-of-the-art sound and vision products such as plasma &amp; <abbr title="Liquid Crystal Display">LCD</abbr> TVs, <abbr title="Digital Versatile Disc">DVD</abbr> players, hard drive &amp; <abbr title="Digital Versatile Disc">DVD</abbr> recorders and Freeview <abbr title="Personal Video Recorder">PVR</abbr>s, the options are vast.</p> <p class="last">Daewoo Electronics is a highly reputable household name that has built its reputation by developing high value products that people can trust. With a focus on quality, innovation and performance, Daewoo Electronics also prides itself on its customer care values.</p>HomeServe to acquire and expand Anglia NW Ltd2152007000<h2>HomeServe to acquire and expand Anglia NW Ltd</h2> <p>21 May 2007</p> <p>HomeServe plc today announced that it has acquired the Dyserth based business Anglia NW Ltd ("Anglia") in a move that will add an additional 204 employees to its market leading Property Repairs business.</p> <p>The FTSE 250 company currently employs over 4,000 staff across a number of locations within its warranties, home repair and home emergency businesses. The acquisition of Anglia, which includes the Dyserth and Shrewsbury premises, will further expand its property repairs capability.</p> <p>Bill Cafferty, CEO of HomeServe Property Repairs said:</p> <blockquote>"Anglia will be a valuable addition to HomeServe Property Repairs, enabling us to expand our directly employed branch network, and we look forward to further growing the business together."</blockquote> <p>For further information, please contact Ian Whitaker on 07976 635366 or email <a title="Email: Ian Whitaker" href="mailto:ian.whitaker@homeserve.com">ian.whitaker@homeserve.com</a>.</p> <h3>Notes to Editors:</h3> <p>A FTSE 250 company, HomeServe plc is an innovative market leader in both its Policy Membership and Emergency Repair businesses.</p> <p>The HomeServe Emergency Services division provides a comprehensive range of domestic emergency repair trades to homeowners via household insurers and delivers an integrated range of emergency repair and replacement solutions.</p> <p>HomeServe Property Repairs, part of HomeServe Emergency Services, is one of the UK's leading permanent repair networks working for household Insurers, providing permanent building repairs including plastering and decorating following the escape of water, storm, fire and accidental damage in the home.</p> <p>HomeServe plc employs 4,000 people in the UK, continental Europe and the USA. For more information, please visit <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a>.</p>DO IT YOURSELF? NOT IF YOU'RE UNDER 35!1102007000<h2>DO IT YOURSELF? NOT IF YOU'RE UNDER 35!</h2> <h3>Home maintenance competence gap opens up between generations<br /> One in four adults can't change a light bulb without help</h3> <p>1 October 2007</p> <p>If you're under 35 and you can change a fuse, balance a radiator and fit a washer on a leaking tap, you're in a minority.</p> <p>New research* from HomeServe, the national home emergency experts, reveals that a "home intelligence" gap has opened up between today's young adults and people of their parents' generation. One in four adults under 35 said they would need to call in assistance to change a light bulb! The findings also show that incredibly 15 million adults don't know how to do at least one of the following: switch off the power in their home, turn off the gas supply or turn off the water supply.</p> <p>The research also found that 51% of people under 35 confess to using their parents and other family members as unpaid tradesmen. This suggests that increasingly cosseted lifestyles have created a generation of people less able to handle basic maintenance tasks around the home.</p> <p>HomeServe's HQ Test, which has been developed alongside the research, actually allows people to measure their "Home intelligence Quotient". It can be completed online at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/hq">www.homeserve.com/HQ</a> and visitors can get their score immediately. As with the IQ Test, a score of 100 is average. Early indicators from a pilot of the HQ test suggests that the average HQ of under 35s is around 120 while those over 35 seem to average at a significantly higher figure of 150.</p> <p>"The downward trend in home maintenance competence or 'home intelligence' is inevitable given the hectic lifestyles we lead today" said Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe. "Turning to the experts is nothing to be ashamed of - younger people have different priorities and they don't want to use their spare time fixing leaks and unblocking drains. It's just that the older generation were brought up to be a little more self-sufficient".</p> <p>Examples of gaps in competence between the generations include:</p> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">TASK</th> <th class="wid25">PERCENTAGE OF ADULTS UNDER 35 WHO CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT ASSISTANCE</th> <th class="wid25">PERCENTAGE OF ADULTS 55 - 75 WHO CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT ASSISTANCE</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Turning off water supply in event of a burst pipe</td> <td>38%</td> <td>29%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Eradicate mice</td> <td>50%</td> <td>36%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Clear blocked drain</td> <td>42%</td> <td>33%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Balance radiators</td> <td>44%</td> <td>37%</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Clear blocked gutters</td> <td>52%</td> <td>41%</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source: HomeServe/ Gfk NOP, September 2007</p> <p>HomeServe, who offer insurance cover for, among other things, plumbing, drains and electrical wiring, handled over 1.2 million home emergencies last year alone. The decline in home intelligence is evident in the fact that HomeServe manages an increased number of emergency claims and jobs every year. It also has seen more and more people opting for a home emergency insurance policy with policy numbers more than doubling over the last three years (From 2.9m in March 2004 to over 5.8 million in 2007).</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>Steve Marinker</strong><br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2841 / 07779 031 936</p> <p><strong>Laura Edgecumbe</strong><br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2895</p> <h3>Editors Notes:</h3> <p>* Research conducted for Homerserve by GfK NOP among 1002 adults 15 - 17 September 2007</p> <p>** To work out your HQ, complete the questionnaire at <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/HQ">www.homeserve.com/HQ</a>.</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectly employed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 5.8 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.2 million in the USA and France.</p>RECORD MONTH AS RODENTS ON THE RISE8112007000<h2>RECORD MONTH AS RODENTS ON THE RISE</h2> <ul> <li>Call-outs in first ten months of 2007 already double volumes for whole of 2005</li> <li>October figures 63 per cent higher than monthly average</li> <li>HomeServe reports it has been swamped by homeowners</li> </ul> <p>8 November - UK households are experiencing a dramatic increase in rodent infestations according to HomeServe, the UK's national home emergency service. The latest figures from the company show that during the first ten months of 2007, calls to the firm's pest control business for rat and mice problems more than doubled (102%) the volume received for the whole of 2005.</p> <p>October is traditionally the busiest month for HomeServe's pest management business as mice and rats claw their way into British homes to take shelter from the cold. The figures released today show that October has been a record month with call-outs for rodents 63 per cent higher than the monthly average for the first nine months of 2007.</p> <p>Pest experts at HomeServe claim that the rodent problems have this year been exacerbated by a number of other factors including changing weather patterns, the growing amount of litter on our streets and changing lifestyle factors such as the trend for more people to have decking in their gardens. The recent flooding has also resulted in vermin scuttling for shelter and in many cases choosing our homes.</p> <p>As a result of this growing problem, HomeServe has seen a huge increase in the number of people taking out its Pest Contamination cover, which provides professional extermination and control of rats or mice in your home and in adjoining buildings, and also the removal of wasp and hornet nests. Between January 2005 and August 2007, the company saw a 334% increase in the number of people with this policy.</p> <p>Commenting on the growing problem of rodent infestation, Jon Florsheim, CEO, HomeServe Membership said:</p> <p>"We expect to see mice and rat problems peak in certain months of the year such as October and November; however demand for our services has been consistently high throughout most of 2007. As well as cooler weather forcing rodents into our homes, the trend for home improvements such as decking can also lead to rodents taking up residence a little too close for comfort. Fallen leaves make comfortable nests, food scraps can fall through the gaps and decks also offer protection from cats and foxes.<br />"If you have rats or mice in your home, it's important to act quickly because they not only cause damage but they also carry diseases."</p> <p>HomeServe's Pest Contamination Cover provides professional extermination and control of rats or mice in your home and in adjoining buildings. It also covers the removal of wasp or hornet nests from around the house and garden. Cover provides unlimited claims per year, up to &pound;300 per claim for call-out, repeat visits, materials, pesticides and bait boxes. The cost of this cover is &pound;39.96 a year, which can be paid on a monthly, quaterly or annual basis. For further information about this cover, visit <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/pests">www.homeserve.com/pests</a> or call 0800 783 0951.</p> <p>HomeServe, who offers a wide range of insurance cover for, among other things, plumbing, drains and electrical wiring and pest contamination, handled over 1.2 million home emergencies last year alone.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>Phil Anderson</strong><br />Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br />0207 282 2841 / 07779 031 936</p> <p><strong>Laura Edgecumbe</strong><br />Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br />0207 282 2895</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectly employed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 5.8 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.2 million in the USA and France.</p>New HomeServe website solves the problem of home emergency repairs2282006000<h2>New HomeServe website solves the problem of home emergency repairs</h2> <p>Home emergency specialists, HomeServe solve the problem of finding reliable tradesmen in an emergency with the unveiling of their new website - <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a></p> <p>In a fresh approach to home emergency repairs, customers can access approved emergency tradesmen in their area to carry out repairs for an up front fixed fee.</p> <p>The fixed price quote is available instantly online for emergency repairs from one of 10 different types of tradesmen, including plumbers, electricians and Gas Safe Register* approved engineers and includes everything it takes to get the problem fixed - call out, parts, labour and materials.</p> <p>Customers who wish to book, call a free-phone number 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to arrange a convenient appointment.</p> <p>A FTSE 250 company, HomeServe already provide expert 24-hour home emergency repairs and cover for some of UK's biggest companies, making over 1.1 million repairs last year alone.</p> <p>The new service gives consumers, who don't have the back up of emergency cover, the opportunity to access emergency repairs and to take out home emergency policies direct from the company.</p> <p>Charlie Herbert, Marketing Director at HomeServe plc, said today,</p> <p>"We're addressing the lack of transparency in home emergency repairs. Getting a tradesman you can trust can be a problem and getting a quote over the phone is equally difficult. By vetting and monitoring our tradesmen, HomeServe act as the next best thing to a recommendation from a friend".</p> <h2>Website highlights</h2> <p>The interactive website gives consumers access to all of HomeServe's services, including:</p> <h3>Repair Services</h3> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are thoroughly vetted, and customer feedback on their work is continually monitored to ensure they're up to standard. Available tradesmen include: plumbers, Gas Safe Register* approved engineers, electricians, glaziers, locksmiths, pest controllers, furniture repairmen and kitchen appliance repairmen.</p> <h3>Emergency Cover</h3> <p>From broken boilers to burst pipes, HomeServe emergency cover protects customers when something goes wrong. They get access to a 24-hour emergency hotline and a hassle free claim service with no forms to fill out. Policies available include; Plumbing and Drainage Cover, Electrical Emergency and Breakdown Cover and Gas Boiler Breakdown Cover.</p> <h3>Help and advice</h3> <p>The website also offers handy DIY hints and advice for home emergencies, including burst pipes and leaks, blocked toilets and flood damage.</p> <p>The launch of <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a> is the first phase in the company's internet strategy. Charlie Herbert adds: "The new website isn't a departure from our overall strategy, we're just offering something we're already good at to non-policy holders and consumers who weren't able to access our services before".</p> <p>Over time, customers will be given the option of online bookings and the number of trades available from the website will be developed in response to customer feedback to make it the "number one website in the UK for finding a reliable tradesman".</p> <h3>Enquiries</h3> <p>The Press Office - 01922 659783</p> <h3>Notes to Editors:</h3> <p>A FTSE 250 company, HomeServe are one of the UK's leading home emergency services, providing emergency call out and insured repair solutions for some of the country's biggest companies and now direct to residential customers too.</p> <p>Last year the company made over 1.1 million repairs at a rate of nearly 95% satisfaction and with the launch of <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/">www.homeserve.com</a>, those numbers are set to grow.</p> <p>From head office in Walsall to Home Service USA, the company employs 4000 staff worldwide, and HomeServe Membership has consistently been voted, by its staff, as one of the Sunday Times Top 100 companies to work for, over the last four years.</p>HomeServe Acquires Digital Insurance Services Limited26102006000<h2>HomeServe Acquires Digital Insurance Services Limited</h2> <p>HomeServe plc today announces the acquisition of Digital Insurance Services Limited ('DIS') for initial consideration of &pound;3.0 million on a debt free cash free basis. Further performance-related cash consideration of up to &pound;1.0 million is payable in 2007 and up to &pound;8.0 million in 2009 based on future operating profit achieved.</p> <p>DIS is a leading provider of home insurance contents claims validation and fulfilment services. DIS currently has contractual arrangements with eight leading household insurers and operates from Great Yarmouth with 45 employees. At 30th April 2006 DIS had gross assets of &pound;0.5 million and in the year ended 30th April 2006 was breakeven on reported turnover of &pound;3.5 million.</p> <p>The acquisition of DIS represents a strategic move by HomeServe into the home insurance contents claim validation market allowing it to extend its offering to insurers to include contents validation services.</p> <p>Ian Carlisle, CEO of HomeServe Emergency Services commented:</p> <blockquote>"The acquisition of DIS provides HomeServe with a unique capability to offer our UK insurer customers a market leading contents validation service which, combined with our Emergency Repair multi-trade businesses, provides a complete solution for all household repair and contents claims."</blockquote> <p>26 October 2006</p> <h3>Enquiries:</h3> <p><strong>HomeServe plc</strong><br />Andrew Belk, Group Finance Director<br />Brian Whitty, Chairman<br />Tel: 01922 427903</p> <p><strong>Tulchan</strong><br />Andrew Honnor<br />Stephen Malthouse<br />Tel: 020 7353 4200</p>Local Businessman wins prestigious award6112006000<h2>Local Businessman wins prestigious award</h2> <p>Peter Rowbottom, a Garstang resident was recently recognised for his services to the Call/Contact Centre Industry when he was presented the "Outstanding Individual Award" at the 2006 North West Contact Centre Awards Dinner held in the Great Hall at Manchester Town Hall, on Friday 27th October.</p> <p>The North West is the second largest area for Contact Centres within the UK. The aim of the awards, hosted by CallNorthWest, is to highlight and reward "excellence" within the North West Call/Contact Centre industry and is open to all centres and their employees throughout the Region.</p> <p>The award was made to Peter for his positive impact in providing valuable support and service to the North West's Contact Centre Sector by demonstrating an enthusiasm that makes others believe that the impossible is possible, and encouraging the desire in people to want to improve the image and performance of the industry by delivering consistent and outstanding service improvements.</p> <p>Peter is the Internal Operations Director at Preston based HomeServe Claims Management. HomeServe provide Home Emergency policies and claims management services to consumers via some of the biggest brands in the UK. Last year HomeServe deployed 1.25m trades people to Home Emergencies.</p> <p>Peter said:</p> <blockquote>"It was a surprise and honour to be nominated for this award. I am proud to have been involved within the Call Centre industry for many years and grateful for the support CallNorthWest provides to me and my colleagues across the numerous Call/Contact Centres in the North West of England. I am very much committed to dispelling the negative image of our industry which in fact provides employment and good career prospects for over 4% of the regions employed population."</blockquote> <p>This is not the first award Peter or the group of companies he represents has received. Peter was announced Call Centre Executive of the year in 1997 at the European Telebusiness Awards for Excellence held in London and HomeServe Membership Ltd, the sister company of HomeServe Claims Management regularly appears in the annual Times "Top 100 Companies To Work For" poll and have themselves recently won an award for recruitment practices at the prestigious, 2006 European Contact Centre Awards.</p> <p>6 November 2006</p>Thousands in the dark about festive light safety15122009000<p><strong>Publication embargo: 15th December 2009</strong></p> <h2>THOUSANDS IN THE DARK ABOUT FESTIVE LIGHT SAFETY</h2> <p><strong>Approximately half of all Christmas light displays may pose a safety risk</strong></p> <p><strong>HomeServe launches advice service to keep festive homes safe this winter</strong></p> <p>Thousands of people are putting themselves and their homes at risk by putting up their Christmas lights carelessly according to HomeServe, the UK's home repair and maintenance experts. In a study of more than 20 homes in the Midlands, HomeServe electricians found that almost half were putting their safety at risk by failing to follow instructions for safe installation.</p> <p>To help households ensure the safety of their home this Christmas, HomeServe has devised the following guidelines for those wanting to add a little Christmas sparkle to their homes.</p> <div id="points-panel"><ol> <li>Be careful not to place lights near gas or electric heaters, fireplaces, candles or other similar sources of flame or heat</li> <li>Make sure you don't puncture the wires with staples, or nails and avoid hanging the lights on sharp hooks or objects</li> <li>Do not let the light bulbs rest on the light string supply cord or other electrical wires</li> <li>Turn the lights off at the power point when leaving the house or retiring for the night</li> <li>Ensure lights are placed out of the reach of small children</li> <li>Do not close doors or windows on the electrical cords as this may damage the cable</li> <li>Don't cover the light bulbs with cloth, paper or any material that is not part of the light set</li> <li>To reduce the risk of overheating, replace any burned out light bulbs promptly. Use light bulbs with the same volt and wattage</li> <li>Always unplug your Christmas lights before installing or replacing the bulb.</li> <li>Do not overload the electrical wiring by adding additional light sets together. As infamously demonstrated in National Lampoon's Christmas vacation. Only connect the recommended amount of light sets (usually three sets if not stated in instructions) on one continuous light string</li> </ol></div> <p>For those people still worried about the safety of their Christmas lights, or those with a more complicated lighting display, HomeServe electricians are at hand ready to check the safety of lights and if necessary erect these for customers.</p> <p><span style="font-wmeight: bold">Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership</span>, said: "Christmas lights are increasing in popularity and every year displays seem to get more and more elaborate. We carried out a random inspection of over 20 lighting displays and found that a lot of people were not taking simple safety precautions. With our new Christmas light service, we're aiming to give peace of mind to those wanting to make their home the safest and most festive on the street."</p> <h3>About HomeServe's 'jobs around the home' service</h3> <p>HomeServe's 'jobs around the home' service will see householders have access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home.. HomeServe offers complete transparency to householders, with customers quoted a price upfront for any job before work is started. Emergency call-out times are under two hours for many trades and non-emergency jobs will be available for customers to book at times that are convenient. HomeServe will guarantee the majority of work completed for 12 months, offering customers additional peace of mind.</p> <p>Customers can expect HomeServe to tackle all major household emergencies and many vital jobs around the home. The new service covers a variety of different trades, with contractors qualified to perform hundreds of jobs ranging from fixing leaking pipes and boiler repairs to repairing a broken washing machine, pest control and even aerial installations.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark<br />Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br />020 7282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.2 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe Home Emergency update712010000<p><strong>Publication embargo: 7th January 2010</strong></p> <h2>HOMESERVE HOME EMERGENCY UPDATE</h2> <p>With heavy snow and ice blanketing most parts of the UK, the UK is forecasted to face the coldest winter in 30 years.* The extreme weather conditions are unfortunately leading to service disruption in most areas of the UK, with some areas being a total no go due to the severity of road conditions for vehicles.</p> <p>The extreme weather is also having a significant impact on demand. Currently call centres are experiencing an increase in the volume of claims being made than the usual winter average - around 5000 emergency claims being made every day. With the combination of high demand, extreme weather and major travel disruption, attendance levels in some areas are being hampered.</p> <p>We would wish to advise customers that genuine emergencies and those most vulnerable are being prioritised. Additionally where possible customers are being proactively contacted to keep them informed about attendance and job status.</p> <p>The areas most impacted by the conditions are Scotland, North East, some parts of the Midlands, Wales, South East and parts of the South West. In these areas major service disruption is expected. All other areas of the UK are experiencing less severe service disruption.</p> <p>With the current outlook for yet more snow; freezing temperatures and ice, we unfortunately anticipate services to be disrupted for some time.</p> <p>The links below will take you to some helpful videos which offer tips &amp; advice on common heating and plumbing problems you may be experiencing:<br /><a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/videos/central-heating">www.homeserve.com/videos/central-heating</a><br /><a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.homeserve.com/videos/plumbing">www.homeserve.com/videos/plumbing</a></p> <p>Additionally in order to keep your home warm and minimise the risk of an emergency:</p> <ul> <li>Leave your central heating on low to maintain warm air circulation around the home</li> <li>Bleed your radiators to maximise their efficiency</li> <li>Ensure all pipes are fully lagged and insulated</li> <li>Use salt to unblock drains and pipes you suspect to be frozen</li> <li>Shut off water supply to all external garden taps and drain the pipes</li> <li>Keep the curtains closed to keep warm air escaping through windows</li> <li>Keep candles and torches at hand in case of power cuts caused by ice &amp; snow</li> <li>Fit draft excluders on doors, windows &amp; letter boxes.</li> </ul> <h3>For up-to-date weather information in your area:</h3> <p><a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather">http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather</a></p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <p>* Source: <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/05/uk-faces-coldest-winter-weather">http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/05/uk-faces-coldest-winter-weather</a></p>Snowed Under!1912010000<p><strong>Publication embargo: 19th January 2010</strong></p> <h2>SNOWED UNDER!</h2> <p><strong>HOMESERVE REPORTS RECORD CALL-OUTS</strong></p> <ul class="redBullet"> <li>HomeServe has received record numbers of call-outs for broken boilers during cold snap</li> <li>Calls for emergency plumbers have also soared as households battle burst pipes</li> <li>Worst hit areas for cold calamities have been the South of England, Manchester and Scotland</li> <li>Rodent call-outs also on the rise as bin men unable to struggle through the snow</li> </ul> <p>HomeServe, the UK&rsquo;s home repair and maintenance experts, has experienced a 100 per cent increase in call outs year-on-year to people suffering boiler, gas and central heating failure and pest problems as a result of the current cold snap.</p> <p>During the last week alone HomeServe has deployed engineers to deal with more than 24,000 emergencies ranging from burst pipes, broken-down gas and central heating systems and electrical failure attributable to the cold snap. This is more than double the number of calls for assistance received during an average week in winter. The company has been inundated by calls for assistance in the worst affected areas such as South Wales, London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.</p> <p>HomeServe is also facing an ever increasing number of calls from households who are experiencing problems with pests due to delays in collecting household rubbish. In some areas of the country rubbish has remained uncollected for up to five weeks as treacherous streets make access difficult, the problem has been compounded by many councils diverting bin men to gritting duties. Call-outs have increased by 123% over the month compared to the same time last year.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: &ldquo;To cope with the demand we have drafted in all our engineers. Many have cancelled holidays and most are working long hours to meet demand.</p> <p>&ldquo;There are a number of problems that people can easily fix themselves. If boilers or central heating systems aren&rsquo;t working then people should check the thermostat and the timer and also that the pilot light hasn&rsquo;t gone out. If the light has gone out there are usually instructions as to how to re-light it on the inside of the boiler door. If there is water gurgling through the central heating system, then it is a clear sign that you have got air in the radiators. This problem can be easily resolved by bleeding the radiators.&rdquo;</p> <p>HomeServe has issued the following advice to help householders keep their home running during the cold snap.</p> <ol> <li>Leave your central heating on low to maintain warm air circulation around the home</li> <li>Bleed your radiators to maximise their efficiency</li> <li>Ensure all pipes are fully lagged and insulated</li> <li>Use salt to unblock drains and pipes you suspect to be frozen</li> <li>Shut off water supply to all external garden taps and drain the pipes</li> <li>Keep the curtains closed to keep warm air escaping through windows</li> <li>Keep candles and torches at hand in case of power cuts caused by ice &amp; snow</li> <li>Fit draft excluders on doors, windows &amp; letter boxes.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark<br />Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br />020 7282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.2 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>The Cost of the Cold Snap422010000<h2>THE COST OF THE COLD SNAP</h2> <p><strong>Households count the &pound;2.03 billion* cost of the cold spell</strong></p> <ul class="redBullet"> <li>An estimated 5.9 million households hit with an average repair bill of &pound;343</li> <li>One in 10 (9%) households faced central heating misery with repairs costing around &pound;294</li> <li>The North East was hardest hit with 42% of people suffering home emergencies</li> <li>Just one in five (21%) were covered by insurance and a worrying 472,000 claim they are unable to afford the repair costs</li> </ul> <p>British households have started to count the cost of the cold snap following the worst winter weather in 50 years. According to a new report released today by HomeServe, the UK&rsquo;s home emergency and repair experts, the repair bill from the cold snap will top &pound;2 billion with 5.9 million households suffering costly home emergencies as a result of the weather conditions.</p> <p>Damaged roofs have to date proven the most expensive to repair, with an estimated one million households facing an average bill of &pound;546 to have their roof repaired after tiles were dislodged and cracked under the weight of snow. Almost one in ten (9%) people reported problems with their central heating and around one in 20 people were forced to call in experts to repair broken down boilers. The average cost for each repair was &pound;294 and &pound;350 respectively.</p> <p>According to the report, an estimated 472,000 people &mdash; or 8% of households suffering damage &mdash; can not afford to have the damage repaired. Just one in five (21%) of those with damage to their home resulting from the cold snap were covered by insurance.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said:</strong> &ldquo;Having to cope without hot water and heating, or suffering a burst pipe or leaking roof, is distressing enough but for many people receiving the repair bill is the biggest upset. The recent cold snap will see many households wondering how they will pay for these unanticipated costs. On average we&rsquo;ve attended 24,000 call outs every week during the cold spell and we&rsquo;ve found around six in 10 people are taking out insurance so that they are covered the next time they face an emergency of this kind.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Table One: Household emergencies experienced during the cold spell</strong></p> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Emergency</th> <th>Incidence</th> <th>Number of households</th> <th>Average repair cost</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Boiler</td> <td>9%</td> <td>2.22 million</td> <td>&pound;351</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Central heating</td> <td>5%</td> <td>1.24 million</td> <td>&pound;294</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Water leaks</td> <td>5%</td> <td>1.24 million</td> <td>&pound;242</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Burst pipes</td> <td>4%</td> <td>0.99 million</td> <td>&pound;31</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Roof</td> <td>4%</td> <td>990,000</td> <td>&pound;546</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Electricity</td> <td>3%</td> <td>741,000</td> <td>&pound;302</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Pests due to cold weather</td> <td>3%</td> <td>741,000</td> <td>&pound;64</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Source: HomeServe</strong></p> <p>HomeServe&rsquo;s own emergency call-outs peaked at 24,000 per week as the company battled to deal with emergencies ranging from burst pipes, broken-down gas and central heating systems and electrical failure attributable to the cold snap. This is more than double the number of calls for assistance received during an average week in winter.</p> <p>HomeServe has issued the following advice to help householders keep their home running during the next cold snap.</p> <ol> <li>Leave your central heating on low to maintain warm air circulation around the home</li> <li>Bleed your radiators to maximise their efficiency</li> <li>Ensure all pipes are fully lagged and insulated</li> <li>Use salt to unblock drains and pipes you suspect to be frozen</li> <li>Shut off water supply to all external garden taps and drain the pipes</li> <li>Keep the curtains closed to keep warm air escaping through windows</li> <li>Keep candles and torches at hand in case of power cuts caused by ice &amp; snow</li> <li>Fit draft excluders on doors, windows &amp; letter boxes</li> </ol> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <p>* The data was complied using ICM research of 4,000 people conducted 23-24 January 2010. 24% of people reported problems with the property that were related to the cold weather. Numbers have been extrapolated based on the 24,700,000 households in the UK.</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark<br />Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br />020 7282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.2 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe embarks on £1 million fundraising drive1022010000<h3>Notes to editors</h3> <p>To send photographers on the day, please contact either Sarah Palmer on 01922 609 073 <a title="Email:Sarah Palmer" href="mailto:sarah.palmer@homeserve.com">sarah.palmer@homeserve.com</a> or Jo Clarke on 01922 609 055 / 07525 679 134 <a title="Email:Jo Clarke" href="mailto:jo.clarke@homeserve.com">jo.clarke@homeserve.com</a></p> <h2>HomeServe embarks on &pound;1 million fundraising drive</h2> <p><strong>Employees to dress the town red - HomeServe plays cupid to its 1,500 employees</strong></p> <p>There will be love in the air at HomeServe this Friday as over 1,500 employees at the Walsall based company celebrate Valentine's Day with a raft of romance-themed activities to raise money for its charity partner, Marie Curie Cancer Care.</p> <p>HomeServe has pledged to raise &pound;1 million for Marie Curie during a three year partnership and the Valentine's Day activity marks the first major fundraising initiative following the appointment of Sarah Palmer to the post of National Charity Manager. As part of the Valentine's Day activities, employees can buy a 'HomeServe Heart' for &pound;1.50 and write on it their special message. Then all they need to do is post the hearts in the boxes around the company and a Marie Curie balloon and their message will be delivered anonymously to the recipient's desk. To help spread the love, HomeServe also has a 'Dress for Love Day' where staff can donate &pound;1 to wear racy red or passionate pink to work!</p> <p>National Charity Manager, Sarah Palmer said, "Everyone is really getting into the spirit of the day, having a lot of fun and raising much needed funds - just &pound;20 pays for a Marie Curie nurse to be in a patient's home for one hour so HomeServe employees really can make a difference to both the charity and the people it cares for".</p> <p>HomeServe aims to raise &pound;1 million, from fundraising events, engineer and tradesmen volunteering and employee 'Pennies for Patients' donations. In the spring, HomeServe customers will also have the opportunity to contribute to the fundraising target, when purchasing HomeServe's home emergency cover insurance products.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors</h3> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Palmer, National Charity Manager, 01922 609 073 <a title="Email:Sarah Palmer" href="mailto:sarah.palmer@homeserve.com">sarah.palmer@homeserve.com</a></p> <p>Jo Clarke, Internal Communications Manager, 01922 609 055 / 07525 679 134 <a title="Email:Jo Clarke" href="mailto:jo.clarke@homeserve.com">jo.clarke@homeserve.com</a></p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.2 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>Back with a vengeance1622010000<h2>Back with a vengeance</h2> <p><strong>New cold snap expected to cost UK householders &pound;343million*</strong></p> <ul> <li>An estimated one million households will be hit with repair bills during the cold spell</li> <li>377,000 boilers are expected to breakdown, 212,000 central heating systems will need repairing and 169,000 pipes will burst.</li> <li>It is predicted approximately 81,000 households will struggle to meet the costs of repairs</li> </ul> <p>British householders be warned - plunging temperatures are returning according to the Met Office** and are expected to result in costly bills. New figures released today by HomeServe, the UK's home emergency and repair experts, predict repair bill for this new cold snap will exceed &pound;343 million with approximately one million households suffering costly home emergencies as a result of the wintery weather conditions.</p> <p>Over the next week it is predicted that over 381,000 boilers will break, 213,000 central heating systems will fail and 170,000 pipes will burst. It is estimated that 81,000 householders will not be able to afford repairs to their properties damaged by the cold.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said:</strong> The expected cold snap will potentially cause many householders great distress, as a result not only of damage to their properties, but also the financial cost of paying for repairs. Householders should take proactive steps to help ensure their property is protected against the cold, ensuring pipes are lagged and boilers regularly serviced. It is crucial that if householders do not have home emergency insurance that they have sufficient funds to pay for repairs, otherwise they could find themselves exposed without heating or hot water."</p> <p><strong>Table One: Predicted household emergencies for cold spell</strong></p> <table border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="alignleft">Emergency</th> <th>Number of emergencies</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Boiler</td> <td>381,000</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Central heating</td> <td>213,000</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Water leaks</td> <td>213,000</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Burst pipes</td> <td>170,000</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Roof</td> <td>170,000</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Electricity</td> <td>127,000</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="alignleft">Pests due to cold weather</td> <td>127,000</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source: HomeServe</p> <p>HomeServe has issued the following advice to help householders keep their home running during the next cold snap.</p> <ol> <li>Leave your central heating on low to maintain warm air circulation around the home</li> <li>Bleed your radiators to maximise their efficiency</li> <li>Ensure all pipes are fully lagged and insulated</li> <li>Use salt to unblock drains and pipes you suspect to be frozen</li> <li>Shut off water supply to all external garden taps and drain the pipes</li> <li>Keep the curtains closed to keep warm air escaping through windows</li> <li>Keep candles and torches at hand in case of power cuts caused by ice &amp; snow</li> <li>Fit draft excluders on doors, windows &amp; letter boxes</li> </ol> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <p><strong>* Based on ICM research conducted between 23-25 January 2010</strong></p> <p><strong>** <a title="Visit the website (opens in a new window)" rel="external" href="http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_weather.html">http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_weather.html</a></strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark<br />Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br />020 7282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.2 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe's call centre volunteers rise to the challenge for sport relief!1232010000<h2>HomeServe's call centre volunteers rise to the challenge for sport relief!</h2> <p><strong>During the live BBC show over 200 volunteers will be answering donation calls from the public</strong></p> <p>More than 200 volunteers, including HomeServe employees, their friends and family, will be giving up their evening on Friday 19th March to man the phones in aid of Sport Relief.</p> <p>During the live Sport Relief show on BBC One, volunteers at the Walsall-based company's call centre will receive thousands of donation calls from the public. This won't be an ordinary day at the office for employees, as the Walsall call centre will come to life in a carnival atmosphere between 6.00pm and midnight.</p> <p>Mr Bruce George, Labour MP for the Walsall South Constituency, will be welcoming volunteers on the night and thanking them for sparing the time to help collect donations.</p> <p>Every pound raised from the Sport Relief campaign will help support vulnerable people, both in the UK and abroad.</p> <p>Many of HomeServe's suppliers have also generously donated prizes which will be awarded on the night to the people who answers the most calls in an hour, and to the people who take the highest donations in each hour.</p> <p>National Charity Manager, Sarah Palmer said, "This is the fifth year HomeServe has supported Sport Relief and we have set ourselves the target of raising &pound;150,000. You won't be able to hear yourself think in the call centre, it will be really frantic, but it will be fanstic fun - we're just waiting for the phones to start ringing".</p> <p>In 2008 over 70 call centres, staffed by a staggering 10,000 volunteers, helped to raise an amazing &pound;28 million. This year Sport Relief is set to raise even more cash with the help of the generous team from HomeServe.</p> <p>As one of the UK's biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Sarah Palmer, National Charity Manager, 01922 609 073 / 07872 411215<br /><a title="Email:Sarah Palmer" href="mailto:sarah.palmer@homeserve.com">sarah.palmer@homeserve.com</a></p> <p>Paul Hickson, Communications Coordinator 01772 758 699 / 07525 679111<br /><a title="Email:Paul Hickson" href="mailto:paul.hickson@homeserve.com">paul.hickson@homeserve.com</a></p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.2 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>British Apprenticeship Programmes Need Fundamental Changes to Work842010000<h2>British Apprenticeship Programmes Need Fundamental Changes to Work</h2> <p><strong>HomeServe brings together industry leaders for apprenticeship debate</strong></p> <p><strong>John Hayes, Conservative MP, highlights Conservative apprenticeship plans</strong></p> <p>At an industry event in Birmingham organised by HomeServe and attended by representatives from The Princes Trust, London School of Economics, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, City and Guilds and Black Country Chamber of Commerce, John Hayes, Conservative Shadow Minister for Universities and Skills, revealed the Conservative Party's proposals to streamline the Apprenticeship process and radically boost participation in schemes across UK industries.</p> <p>Speaking at the event, Mr Hayes said: "We see apprenticeships as the heart of our policy for education going forwards. Practical learning is arguably the height of learning. Whereas academic learning is derivative at a base degree level, basic apprenticeship is creative by its very nature. We want to remove the stigma associated with apprenticeships and see schemes made available not only to young people but even to people in their thirties, who want to train and learn new skills that can be taken on throughout life."</p> <p>Mr Hayes highlighted some of the key features of a Conservative apprenticeship scheme:</p> <ul class="redBulletMin"> <li>Money would be moved from the Train to Gain scheme to straightforward apprenticeship</li> <li>Overheads and paperwork required to take on apprentices would be reduced</li> <li>Barriers between pre-19 and post-19 apprenticeships would be removed</li> <li>The Conservatives will boost SME apprenticeships with a &pound;2,000 offer to companies taking on apprentices</li> </ul> <p>Richard Harpin, founder and Chief Executive of HomeServe plc commented: "As a life long entrepreneur, the issue of running an effective apprenticeship scheme with better participation holds a great personal and business interest for me. HomeServe is committed to recruiting and developing apprentices throughout the business.</p> <p>"We are calling on all political parties to commit to policies that will provide practical support for businesses that invest in developing a highly trained workforce through Apprenticeship programmes. At present, funding bodies for apprenticeships lack a fundamental understanding of the real needs of the business community, employers are being stymied by beaurocracy and funding agencies don't allow businesses to automatically improve training to suit the needs of their organisation. The National Employer Service dictates to businesses when funds supplied should be invested, rather than allowing the business to concentrate training during quieter operational periods"</p> <p>Richard also called on the Conservtives to increase the funding offered to small businesses to take on their first apprentice.</p> <p>HomeServe, the home emergency company, plans to invest &pound;1 million over the next three years in apprenticeships, resulting in 20 per cent of HomeServe's national engineer network coming from apprenticeships. It also runs a successful Call Centre apprenticeship programme which focuses on developing all existing employees to a minimum of Level Three and is planning to introduce the qualification into their Call Centre induction programme. The company has also recently launched a development scheme that will allow more than twenty employees every year to step into their first managerial role.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household. HomeServe offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 3.1 million customers in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, the insurance offered by HomeServe grants access to a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers a new tradesmen service, providing households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out a number of different jobs around the home.</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen aim to turn up on time and will guarantee their work (subject to conditions) for a 12 month period afterwards. HomeServe ensures that the engineers hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand.</p> <!--fix--><!--fix-->HomeServe announces the acquisition of National Grid Energy Services' service contract business1442010000<h2>HomeServe announces the acquisition of National Grid Energy Services' service contract business</h2> <p>HomeServe plc today announces the further expansion of its international operations and the development of its US business with the acquisition of National Grid Energy Services' service contract business from National Grid Energy Services LLC. The acquisition significantly expands HomeServe's US business, adding over 186,000 customers and 365,000 contracts to its existing 570,000 customers and 740,000 contracts.</p> <p>Home Service has also entered into a 10 year marketing agreement with National Grid USA to use the National Grid Energy Services name. This will allow Home Service to use the National Grid Energy Services brand to market home assistance policies to over 5m households across National Grid's US service area. The agreement allows us to continue to develop our policy business and significantly increases our footprint of affinity partner households in the US to over 15 million.</p> <p>Richard Harpin, Chief Executive of HomeServe plc commented: 'We are delighted to announce this acquisition and marketing agreement which represents a significant step forward in the development of our US operations and reflects our strategy of expanding our international businesses through a combination of organic growth delivered by additional affinity partnerships and selective acquisitions. I am looking forward to working with National Grid as we continue to build a successful home assistance business in the US'.</p> <p>The Contract Business provides heating, cooling and water heater services to customers across four northern US states comprising Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island.</p> <p>The total consideration payable on completion is $30 million (&pound;19 million) and at that time the business is expected to have approximately $16 million (&pound;10 million) of net liabilities, resulting in net consideration of approximately $14 million (&pound;9 million).</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Mathew Wootton<br /> Director of Finance, HomeServe plc<br /> Tel: 01922 655 332</p> <p>Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> Telephone: 020 7282 2981<br /> Email: <a title="Email:Ewan Robertson" href="mailto:ewan.robertson@citigatedr.co.uk">ewan.robertson@citigatedr.co.uk</a></p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household. HomeServe offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 3.1 million customers in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, the insurance offered by HomeServe grants access to a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers a new tradesmen service, providing households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out a number of different jobs around the home.</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen aim to turn up on time and will guarantee their work (subject to conditions) for a 12 month period afterwards. HomeServe ensures that the engineers hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand.</p>HomeServe Announces the Appointment of Jon Florsheim as an Executive Director and Chief Executive of HomeServe Membership Limited13112006000<h2>HomeServe Announces the Appointment of Jon Florsheim as an Executive Director and Chief Executive of HomeServe Membership Limited</h2> <p>13 November 2006</p> <p>HomeServe plc, the Home Emergency Service Company, is delighted to announce the appointment of Jon Florsheim as Chief Executive of HomeServe Membership and as an Executive Director of HomeServe plc.</p> <p>Jon (46) is currently Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director, Customer Group, of British Sky Broadcasting. Prior to joining BSkyB in 1994, Jon was Marketing Director of Dixons Stores Group (now DSG International plc) and has held marketing posts with Tesco. Jon will join HomeServe in accordance with the terms for his departure to be agreed with BSkyB.</p> <p>Commenting on the appointment, Richard Harpin, Chief Executive, HomeServe plc, said:</p> <blockquote>"I am delighted that Jon is to join HomeServe. Our policy business in the UK has experienced phenomenal growth in the last few years. We have increased the policy base to over 5 million, through innovative marketing and cross selling, primarily under utilities brands.<br /><br /> With Jon's track record of growing BSkyB's customer base from under 2.5 million in 1994 to over 8 million today and HomeServe's market leading proposition, I am confident that he will lead continued growth in our UK business."</blockquote> <p>Commenting on the announcement, Jon Florsheim, said:</p> <blockquote>"I have thoroughly enjoyed working at BSkyB and am proud of our achievement in building the company into one of the world's leading entertainment companies. The opportunity to join HomeServe is very exciting and I look forward to working with the Board to continue the impressive growth which has already been achieved."</blockquote> <p>A further announcement will be made once the date of Jon's appointment has been confirmed.</p> <h3>Enquiries</h3> <p><strong>HomeServe plc</strong><br /> Brian Whitty, Chairman<br /> Richard Harpin, Chief Executive <br /> Tel: 01922 427 910</p> <p class="last"><strong>Tulchan Communications</strong><br /> Stephen Malthouse<br /> Andrew Honnor<br /> Tel: 020 7353 4200</p>VERMINOPHOBIA ON THE RISE AMONGST FEARFUL YOUNG BRITS18122007000<h2>VERMINOPHOBIA ON THE RISE AMONGST FEARFUL YOUNG BRITS</h2> <p>18 December 2007</p> <ul> <li>Young Brits call on elders for help removing common household pests</li> <li>Almost a quarter of young Brits afraid of moths</li> </ul> <p>Verminophobia, the fear of common household vermin such as mice, spiders and cockroaches is on the rise in Britain. Young Brits are almost twice as likely as their elders to fear common household pests such as spiders, mice, cockroaches and even the humble moth according to home emergency experts, HomeServe.</p> <p>According to the new research Brits are not bred as tough as they once were. In all categories of domestic pests, young Brits were unable to match their parents or even grandparents' nerves in dealing with even the smallest and most harmless of insects. Despite the fact that the UK has no deadly or even dangerous spiders, a whopping 29 per cent of under-25s would need to call in help to catch a spider compared to 11 per cent of over 55s. Only 38 per cent of under-25s would feel confident in dealing with a cockroach, put to shame by 68 per cent of the over 55s.</p> <p>Pest experts at HomeServe claim that there is a downward trend in home maintenance competence levels amongst younger Brits, and this also includes dealing with domestic pests. Jon Florsheim, CEO, HomeServe Membership said:</p> <p>"There's certainly no shame in calling in the experts as many people, young and old, do not have the time, patience or perhaps even bravado to deal with pests around the home."</p> <p>Whilst men were the braver sex, the research showed them to be far from heroic in dealing with common household pests. More than one in five (21%) would call in help to catch a mouse, 17 per cent would call in the experts to catch a bee and 12 per cent would be unable to remove a spider from their property.</p> <p>The North West of England was the region least competent in dealing with pests. This region was the MOST likely to call in the experts to deal with a bee (38%), a wasp (31%), a mouse (41%), a moth (24%) or a bed bug (51%).</p> <p>Other key findings form the HomeServe research:</p> <ul> <li>Rats posed the biggest problem for fearful Brits -; 53 per cent claimed they would be unable to deal with a rat in their home. Women were almost twice as likely as men to call for help (70% versus 43%).</li> <li>Arachnophobia was a problem for around 19 per cent of Brits. Fear levels were highest in Scotland with 25 per cent claiming they would be unable to remove a spider from their home.</li> <li>Mice were a problem for approximately one third of Brits (35%) -; the research again found a large difference between men and women -; 49 per cent of women and 29 per cent of men were unable to deal with a mouse in a house.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>Holly Clark</strong><br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2917 / 07917 217 807</p> <p><strong>Laura Edgecumbe</strong><br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> 0207 282 2895</p> <h3>Editors Notes</h3> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectly employed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 5.8 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.2 million in the USA and France.</p>HomeServe Boosts Management Team with New Group HR Director522008000<h2>HOMESERVE BOOSTS MANAGEMENT TEAM WITH NEW GROUP HR DIRECTOR</h2> <h3>HomeServe, the UK's only national home emergency service, is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Sawkins as Group Human Resources Director with immediate effect.</h3> <p>5 February 2008</p> <p>In his new role Martin will sit on the Executive Board of HomeServe, reporting to Richard Harpin, Chief Executive HomeServe plc and will focus on a recruitment and retention strategy that will support the business in achieving its ambition growth plans. HomeServe, a FTSE 250 company, currently employs over 5,000 people across the UK and employee numbers have increased by around 100% over the last five years.</p> <p>Joining from the Automobile Association Ltd (AA), where he has been Group HR Director since 2000, Martin brings extensive experience in strategic human resources. Key successes at the AA include leading a management change programme as part of a complete business restructure.</p> <p>Martin was previously HR Director for British Gas Services, and in his twenty year career in human resources has held positions at UEF Ltd, Bridon plc and BAe, Rover Group.</p> <p>Commenting on the appointment Richard Harpin, Chief Executive, HomeServe plc said: "We are really pleased to welcome Martin to HomeServe. Martin has an impressive track record and we're confident that he has the breadth and depth of experience to help us deliver our ambitious plans. Along with the management team, Martin will be central in leading our business growth, specifically our people strategy<em>."</em></p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p><strong>Ian Whitaker</strong><br /> HomeServe plc<br /> 020 7374 3527&lt; /p&gt;</p> <p><strong>Holly Clark</strong><br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson <br /> 0207 282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every forty seconds a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 3,000 directly and indirectly employed engineers HomeServe offers the UK's only national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 5.8 million policy members in the UK and a further 1.2 million in the USA and France.</p>Rat numbers could soar over festive period23122009000<p><strong>Publication embargo: 23rd December 2009</strong></p> <h2>RAT NUMBERS COULD SOAR OVER FESTIVE PERIOD</h2> <p><strong>Thousands of Brits will accumulate up to four weeks* waste over the festive season</strong></p> <p><strong>HomeServe issues festive rodent warning</strong></p> <p>HomeServe is bracing itself for a &lsquo;pied piper effect&rsquo; this festive season. The company is expecting more calls than usual as excess rubbish and scaled back collections bring rodent infestations to thousands of British homes. HomeServe, the UK&rsquo;s home repair and maintenance experts have warned residents to avoid leaving bags unsecured outside their home and to seal up potential entrances to their properties.</p> <p>Over the Christmas / New Year period in 2008 HomeServe reported a 12 per cent increase in call-outs compared to the previous year and the Company expects calls to continue to increase with the expected cold snaps likely to drive many rodents indoors.</p> <p>With an estimated 216 out of 434 waste collection authorities using fortnightly collections**, HomeServe&rsquo;s analysis of rubbish collection has found that residents in some areas of the UK will wait up to three weeks for collection of general non-recyclable waste and four weeks for recyclable waste. In rural areas the situation is even more pronouced.</p> <p>Jon Florsheim, CEO of HomeServe Membership, said: &ldquo;Over the Christmas period we throw out an enormous amount of rubbish &ndash; cards, wrapping paper and mountains of uneaten food. Every year we take a large number of calls from people who have woken up to find the local rodent population has been feasting on leftover Christmas dinners. If you live in an area where rubbish collection is delayed, ensure you place all bags containing edible waste in a secure bin until your next collection day.&rdquo;</p> <h3>The rat problem</h3> <p>Rats are capable of reproducing at 3-4 months old, and a pair of rats can start a colony that produces up to 800 babies a year, depending upon food availability and location. The litter size can be around 6-11 young, with a lifespan of between 12-19 months. Rats are known to eat anything, including each other and need to continuously gnaw in order to file down their teeth. When in the house, they eat anything not sealed in an air tight container. They can eat most food stored in paper, plastic or cardboard containers.</p> <p>Rats contaminate everything they encounter with droppings, urine and hairs. Approximately 20% of rats carry Leptospirosis, or Weil's disease, which can be fatal to humans. Another significant problem is the considerable structural damage rats can cause from their gnawing and burrowing activities. This ranges from minor holes in walls/doors/furniture/cupboards to structural collapse, flooding, electrical faults and fire (they gnaw through cables).</p> <p>HomeServe offers policies against unwanted pests for as little as 12p per day. Policies cover the removal of rats or mice in the home, its cellars and adjoining buildings. In addition, the policy ensures the removal of wasp or hornet nests from a house or garden. Householders can make unlimited numbers of claims per year, with a limit of up to &pound;300 per claim.</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <p>* A number of UK councils where waste is collected fortnightly will wait a further two weeks to collect refuse<br />** Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)</p> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Holly Clark<br />Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br />020 7282 2917</p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network</p> <p>HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen are guaranteed to turn up on time, to hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand, to provide a price before they start the job and will even guarantee their work for a 12 month period afterwards.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 7.2 million policy members in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p>HomeServe announces Dyson partnership2142010000<h2>HomeServe announces Dyson partnership</h2> <p>HomeServe, one of the UK&rsquo;s leading providers of home emergency and insurance products has been awarded the prestigious contract to supply Dyson with insurance services.</p> <p>Dyson, the number one manufacturer of vacuum cleaners in the UK, has awarded HomeServe a multi-year contract to be their exclusive provider of insurance services. This agreement will include the provision of extended warranty to Dyson customers outside of their manufacturers&rsquo; guarantee and additional customer benefits such as Accidental Damage cover.</p> <p><strong>Jon Florsheim, Chief Executive Officer of HomeServe Membership said: </strong>"We are extremely pleased to announce this partnership, which further demonstrates our continued growth in the manufacturer warranty sector. This is a landmark win for HomeServe given the scale and prestige of the Dyson brand. To be appointed by Dyson is a great testament to our proven strategy of developing partnerships with industry-leading companies to offer added value and first class customer service"</p> <p><strong>David Hollander, Managing Director of Dyson, Great Britain &amp; Ireland commented: "</strong>We are delighted to further enhance our award winning customer service proposition through this agreement with HomeServe"</p> <p><strong>Ends</strong></p> <h3>Notes to editors:</h3> <h3>For more information please contact:</h3> <p>Ewan Robertson<br /> Citigate Dewe Rogerson<br /> Telephone: 020 7282 2981<br /> Email: <a title="Email:Ewan Robertson" href="mailto:ewan.robertson@citigatedr.co.uk">ewan.robertson@citigatedr.co.uk</a></p> <h3>About HomeServe</h3> <p>Every minute a HomeServe engineer comes to the rescue of a British household. HomeServe offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating. It has over 3.1 million customers in the UK and a further 2.4 million in the USA, France and Spain.</p> <p>With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, the insurance offered by HomeServe grants access to a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.</p> <p>HomeServe also offers a new tradesmen service, providing households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out a number of different jobs around the home.</p> <p>HomeServe tradesmen aim to turn up on time and will guarantee their work (subject to conditions) for a 12 month period afterwards. HomeServe ensures that the engineers hold the necessary qualifications to do the job at hand.</p>