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Simple Landlords Insurance Storm advice as Ophelia’s effects are felt…

Tuesday 17 October 2017

The UK took a battering from Hurricane Ophelia yesterday, with winds of more than 70 miles an hour taking out trees and power supplies, and causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage. Ireland has been the worst hit, with 3 people now thought to have lost their lives. 

“It’s easy to forget quite how devastating hurricane strength winds can be,” says Alex Huntley, Head of Operations at Simple Landlords Insurance. “Luckily most of the damage we see is to property rather than people, things like fallen trees, broken windows and collapsed fences. In the days after a storm, claims go up by around 40%, so we’re expecting a busy day on the phones.” 

October, however, is still early in the storm season. At Simple Landlords Insurance our worst month for storm claims is actually in February – after several bouts of bad weather have pummeled properties. An average storm claim costs more than £2,300. 

“In our experience much of the damage we see could be avoided,” explains Alex. “It’s always our policy to look for ways to pay out on a policy, but it’s also worth taking some simple steps to make sure your properties are in tip top condition – and ready to weather the next storm.” 

So here are Simple’s 6 top storm tips… 

1. Check your roof

  • Get a builder to give your roof an inspection every year - if you can’t remember the last time someone looked, now’s the perfect time to book something in. 

  • Keep an eye on your roof - and take a look after a storm hits to see if you can spot any dislodged or cracked tiles, or damaged soffit boards. 

  • Spotting issues before they escalate into bigger problems is key! 

2. Check your windows

  • Windows can take a battering during a storm, so check yours are shut, locked and in good condition. 

  • Dormer windows are particularly susceptible to letting in water, frequently due to poorly aintained flashing around their edges. Keep an eye on them, and encourage your tenants to do the same. 

3. Unblock gutters 

  • Blocked gutters can cause a whole host of problems for your property, like rot, penetrating damp and damage to the foundation caused by water running down external walls. Make sure they’re clear of leaves, moss and other debris

4. Garden maintenance

  • While you’re outside checking the gutters, take a good look round your garden. Make sure fence panels are secure and trees close to the property are kept well trimmed. 

  • Ensure garden furniture, kids play equipment, ornaments and tools are stored in a garage or shed, so they won’t be picked up by the wind and blown into the property. 

5. Use the garage

  • Encourage your tenants to use the garage, if you have one, so there’s less chance of damage to vehicles. 

6. Check your policy

  • The last thing you want to find if a storm does cause damage to your property is that your insurance policy is out of date, or doesn’t provide the cover you need! 

  • Wind and storm damage can cause some serious damage to your property, but some insurance policies will only cover you if your property has been reasonably maintained. If the winds don’t reach storm strength (over 52mph on the Beaufort scale) you may not be able to claim. 

And stay safe!

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