The weather may be slightly improved this week (February 18th) compared to seven days ago when many of us saw snow form a covering. The white stuff wasn't the only thing falling though, as temperatures dropped in tandem to leave many of us feeling chilly.And according to the Met Office, this might not be the last of the poor conditions, with up to a month of potential cold weather still to come.Are you prepared for the low temperatures though? A new report from the Association of British Insurers said that as many as 1,300 consumers were helped per day during winter 2012 for damage that the poor weather had caused to their house.With the cost of Christmas still looming large over many of us, the last thing anyone needs is for a costly insurance claim to be added on top of this. Therefore, taking steps to protect the home first can be a great way to alleviate the fear.It might well be true that gas costs have risen over the last few months, leaving many people trying to ration their usage, but this puts you at risk of frozen water pipes, which can burst with disastrous consequences.Turning the thermostat up just one or two clicks will not make a discernible difference to your bills, but you will notice a change in temperature, while the chance of a pipe bursting will be significantly reduced.Other ways that homebuyers can help to bring down the risk include getting up onto the roof and checking that the tiles are both in good condition and in place. Heat escapes a roof in ill health, while water will find its way in, and neither of these is something you want to have to deal with.However, even after making all of these changes, if the worst should happen and you find yourself with a flooded or otherwise damaged house, you might find it costs far too much to put right. In this case, you could sell to Property Rescue, who will give you a quick cash value to help you get back on your feet.