Preparing your home before a storm
We’re lucky that weather forecasting has improved so much in recent years, but when it does takes a turn for the worst, storms can cause havoc.
From loose roof tiles to smashed windows or broken TV aerials, there are lots of ways a storm can cause damage. But with a little preparation you could help to reduce the potential for damage – and save yourself some money and some stress in the process.
Before a storm
Take care of the trees. Contact your Local Authority to see if any trees are protected first, but remove any loose or overhanging branches from trees that could cause damage. And if you know a storm’s coming, it’s worth putting your car in a garage or somewhere relatively safe, away from tall trees completely
Get the garden ready. Secure or lock away loose objects in your outside spaces like garden furniture, bikes, ladders and children’s toys.
Batten down the hatches. Fasten all your doors and windows securely. Remove the aerial from your TV in case of an electrical storm, and don’t be tempted to use computer equipment as an alternative – even surge protectors can fail.
Lose the loose tiles. If you have loose tiles on the roof, think about getting these secured before the storm hits (if you can do this safely or find a contractor to help you in time). Most insurance providers will expect you to keep your home in a good state of repair, anyway, for their policies to remain in force.
Clear out your gutters. It’s worth doing this at least once a year to stop rainwater overflowing and damaging plasterwork.
Secure weak fences and posts. If your fence blows away, you don’t want it to cause damage to any other parts of your property (or anyone else’s).
Check aerials or satellite dishes. It might not be practical to do this yourself, but if you have any doubts and do have the time, it could be worth getting someone in to check they’re nice and secure.
Check your contents and buildings insurance is up to date. No matter how careful you are, there’s always the risk that a storm will cause damage to your car or property – so it’s important you have the right kind of insurance in place.
Most buildings insurance policies will cover you for storm damage. But it’s unlikely that they’ll pay out for damaged fences. Check your policy for details.
Make sure you are only claiming for something that is a direct result of the storm, and not because of poor home maintenance. Your insurer will take general wear and tear into account before making a decision on your payment.
If your car is damaged by a falling tree, you’ll need comprehensive insurance in place as third party fire and theft insurance doesn’t usually cover this sort of damage.
If a storm has caused damage to your property, learn more about what to do here.
How to make a claim
For Aviva home insurance: call 0345 030 6945
For Aviva car insurance: call 0345 030 6925
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