It’s the time of year when big storms often roll in across the Atlantic Ocean, bringing chaos to our shores.
If you know stormy weather is approaching, protecting your home makes sense from both a personal safety and financial perspective.
Fail to prepare, prepare for a failed claim!
Most home insurance providers expect a reasonable level of care to be taken with your property, otherwise a claim for storm damage could be rejected.
What’s seen as ‘reasonable’ can become contentious during a claim. So, for example, if your drains are already in a poor state before heavy rains cause flooding, the insurer might decide it’s your fault and refuse to pay out.
Home protection tips
Here are a number of key things to do if you know very bad weather is on the way, and what to do if flood warnings are issued:
Guttering – Check that guttering is clear of debris and draining properly.
Drains – As with your home’s gutters, ensure drains are flowing smoothly and entry points are clear.
Garden furniture and features – Heavy winds can damage loose garden furniture and features such as decorative trellis, possibly flinging fling them around, breaking windows and damaging external buildings such as greenhouses.
Fencing – Secure loose fencing as this can easily be brought down in stormy weather, damaging property or people.
Roofs – Try and see if any tiles are loose or there are gaps where there shouldn’t be. Chimneys, in particular, need checking as they can cause a great amount of damage if they topple over.
Trees – Overhanging Branches should probably be cut back as storms can loosen dead limbs. And if any trees close to your home look a little weak and sick, get a local tree expert round immediately.
Garages and outbuildings – Many householders overlook checking outbuildings such as garages and barns. It’s not uncommon for roofing to be whipped off or garage doors ripped open if they’re loose and poorly fitted. As with your main home, make checks and batten down anything loose.
Preparing for flooding
The UK Environmental Agency has estimated that as many as one-in-six properties in Britain are at risk of flooding.
Here are some common sense things to do if you know there’s a chance your home could flood:
Sandbags – Get hold of sandbags well in advance to place against areas where water might get in.
Block airbricks – Airbricks are bricks with holes in that allow areas under floorboards and in cellar areas to ‘breathe’. Seal them off with plastic bags or sandbags.
Flood kit – Prepare an emergency flood kits which includes things like a torch, batteries, food, water, blankets and a first-aid kit.
Turn off gas, electricity and water – Make sure you know where in your home you can turn off energy and water supplies, it could save your life.
Move items upstairs – Try and move furniture, electronics and other valuable items upstairs.
Vehicles – Move any vehicles you own to higher ground.
Windows and doors – If possible, seal around vulnerable entry points such as windows and doors.
We help our customers to compare insurance products and find a policy that’s right for them. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated customer service team on hand by phone, email, twitter and instant chat.For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 23rd October 2018