Home insurance - Before the storm

Published ¤ 14/12/2011 11:34:32

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Home owners are being urged to ensure their homes are properly covered ahead of Met Office warnings that storms are on their way.

Storm damage claims on house insuranceWith gusts of around 45mph expected across much of the UK on Thursday and Friday, homeowners are advised to take basic precautions to protect themselves and their property.
Carole Gallagher, head of property claims at Aviva, said "Like floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and freeze, storms and gales are covered as standard by your home insurance policy, there is no such thing as an 'Act of God' exclusion - this is exactly what your insurance covers you for!

"So any damage caused to your property as a direct result of storm force wind and rain is covered AND if you are forced to move out of your home the cost of alternative accommodation is usually paid for."
What to do before the storm:
  • Park the car in a garage, or away from large trees
  • Secure or lock-away loose objects such as garden furniture and ornaments, bikes, children's toys and ladders
  • Fasten all doors and windows
  • With electrical storms, remove the aerial from the TV set.
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If you have time:
  • Check for loose tiles on the roof
  • Secure any weak fences and posts - to minimise the risk of causing damage to other parts of your property
  • Check aerials or satellite dishes are securely fixed.
What to do after the storm

If your property suffers damage, ring your insurer or insurace broker immediately. Many insurance companies have dedicated teams to help assist with the claims process, provide advice and recommend approved local tradesmen.
The most common types of storm claims
  • Roof tiles blown off, often in conjunction with damage to gutters, fascias etc
  • TV/radio aerials damaged
  • Breakage of glass - most often greenhouse glass
  • Lifting of roofing felt, particularly on sheds
  • Damage to chimneys
  • Trees falling down and damaging buildings
  • Boundary walls blown down.
But do bear in mind an insurance policy is not a maintenance policy - most companies expect your home to be in reasonable condition, wear and tear isn't covered. Fences, gates and hedges that have blown down as a direct result of high winds are also sometimes excluded.

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