Many homes in the UK have been hit by terrible weather in recent years; from winter storms to the extensive flooding of 2013/2014 and the big freeze of 2009/2010.
But if your property isn’t correctly prepared to face nature at its most powerful you may have to claim on your home insurance, pushing up premiums. And that’s not to mention the cost of having to pay tradesmen for emergency repairs.
Nearly one-in-ten households hit
In fact, research from the insurer Policy Expert shows that almost one-in-ten householders, 8%, have in the past had to make a claim on their home cover for damage caused by high winds, torrential rain or flooding.
The average claim is for just over £900, with the most common being for damage to roofs, guttering and chimneys, as well as fences and sheds, and for water pipes bursting.
Many simply aren’t prepared
A good number of people aren’t prepared for bad weather to strike and don’t know how to protect their homes against any potential damage.
One-in-seven, 14%, say they aren’t sure what to do if a pipe bursts, while a not inconsiderable minority, 3%, don’t even know where the stopcock is to turn the water supply off!
Avoiding extra costs and protecting a home
While it’s inevitable that more bad weather will eventually come, the good news is that there are plenty of relatively easy things householders can do to prevent any damage being caused.
If measures aren’t taken, the likelihood of having to make a claim on home cover, and pay for emergency work by the likes of plumbers and electricians increases hugely.
Don’t underestimate the costs
People underestimate just how much tradesmen such as plumbers cost.
Policy Expert’s statistics show that, on average, householders think a plumber on emergency call out would cost £60 per hour. However, according to consumer magazine Which?, the figure is actually £90.
Protecting your home against weather damage
Here are some of the relatively simple things that can be done to protect a home from storm damage:
- Keep your home in good condition. Check the roof for loose tiles and keep guttering and drains clear of debris.
- Check aerials and satellite dishes are firmly secure.
- Take a close look at your chimney; if you suspect the structure is a little weak, or it looks a bit wonky, get a builder in.
- Place sandbags where water might get in to a home, such as against air bricks or external-facing doors.
- Clear away anything that could be lifted by strong winds or rising floodwater.
If the worst does happen, don’t forget to contact your insurer immediately, take pictures of what’s happened and keep all receipts for any emergency carried out.
As an online insurer and broker, Policy Expert 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 8 February 2017