More storms to follow Irma, Harvey - and Aileen
Thursday 14 September 2017
As the US, Cuba and the Caribbean begin to pick up the pieces after the devastating hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Britain is experiencing its first storm of the season - Aileen.
According to AccuWeather - one of the biggest weather forecasters - Britain is due to be bombarded by the tail-end of up to three hurricanes in the next two months, with winds of up to 100mph.
While the destruction will be nothing like the scale we’ve seen across the Atlantic, we can certainly expect damage to trees and properties, flooding in high-risk areas, and disruption to travel and infrastructure systems.
For landlords in particular, it’s important to be prepared.
Andy Wynne-Jones, Senior Underwriting at Simple Landlords Insurance, explains: “Storm damage is the number 1 reason we see for claims, with the average claim costing £1,500 and taking 34 days to put right. Typically claims go up around 40% after a storm, and we see a lot of fallen trees, weather damage, and localised flooding.
“Now is the time for landlords to check their properties and undertake basic maintenance to make sure they’re not caught out by the storms - and to check the insurance policies to make sure their over is up to date.
“Maintenance-wise, you need to make sure there are no loose or dislodged tiles on your roof, nothing blocking gutters or drains that could cause leaks or flooding in heavy rainfall, and that large trees or plants close to your property are appropriately trimmed.
“Insurance-wise, be aware that damage is often cumulative - and we see more claims towards the end of the storm season as properties take a battering over several weeks. The problem is if it’s the last bout of bad weather that does the damage, unless the winds get up to a certain level it won’t count as ‘storm damage’.
“Keep an eye on your property, make sure tenants know who to contact as soon as they spot an issue - and make sure you know exactly what’s included and excluded on your policy.”
One Simple Landlords Insurance customer had a fallen tree damage his boundary wall last year. Muhammed Hafiz, called us about his property in Cheadle.
He explains: “The tree destroyed a large part of the garden wall, which is made of stone with fencing on the top. It’s a busy road hence the emergency services were called, including the tree cutter to clear the road of the debris - but the garden was a mess.”
Muhammad’s wall cost £3,800 to repair, but he only paid £1,000 excess. He says: “I deliberately put the excess up to £1,000 to lower my premium as far as possible. You live and learn! To be honest, I never expected anything to go wrong at this property, because you don’t, do you? I have a very reliable tenant, and the house is in very good condition.
“It just goes to show that anything can go wrong at a property at any time - and that’s exactly why you need to be insured.
“I was lucky this was a relatively small loss. If you don’t have the right insurance, a bigger loss can cost you dearly. I will definitely be staying with Simple Landlords Insurance for some time to come. Exactly the service I wanted, exactly when I needed it.”
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