The British do love talking about the weather, but why does one nation obsess over something so seemingly banal? Well, besides being an easy icebreaker, our weather is also highly variable and people are often caught unawares by sudden swings from stormy skies to blazing sunshine. Occasionally, extreme events throw the country into a flurry of trepidation, and being unprepared could cost more than wet feet or a sunburnt nose.
Storms have the power to topple immense trees, tear the roofs off houses, hurl debris at great speeds, and cause devastating floods, all leading to millions of pounds in damages. But if you take sensible precautions and get appropriate property insurance, you can focus on the most important thing during an emergency: your safety.
In the calm before the storm
It may not be Tornado Alley, but the UK has experienced some extremely destructive storms in recent years. Preparing your property during a lull could save you a lot of trouble and money when the next one strikes.
- Building maintenance is not just for keeping up appearances. An insurance claim may fall through if the property was already unsound.
- Check for loose roof tiles and secure flimsy garden fences.
- Keep trees free of big loose branches. Hire a tree surgeon to remove these safely.
Heed the weather warnings
With countless ways to check the forecast or hear breaking news, people will soon know when a storm is on the horizon. Forecasters can usually give a few days warning, which is plenty of time to take action.
- If strong winds are expected, check for loose items outside, such as ladders or wheelie bins that could be thrown around. Secure them or, better yet, stow them inside.
- If heavy rain is anticipated, ensure your gutters and drains are clear.
- Prepare an emergency stash of food, water, torches, warm clothes and medicine.
- Keep useful contacts, such as your gas and electricity suppliers, local water authority, and property insurer, readily available.
In the midst of a major storm, your personal safety is the priority. Do not do anything that will put you or your friends and family at risk, and keep a mobile phone on you at all times.
In the aftermath
Once the wind has dropped, and the rain stopped, the next step will be assessing the damage. This will be an upsetting and emotional time. We want you to get the best out of your insurance, and smoothly onto the road to recovery:
- Only return to your property once it is safe to do so and do not use electricity, gas or water supplies until given the all clear.
- Contact your insurer as soon as possible. They will start arranging repairs and advise you on what to do next.
- If you need to make emergency repairs to protect against further damage, inform the insurer and keep all the receipts for your claim.
- Keep damaged items, unless they are hazardous, as they could be repaired or replaced under your insurance.
- Tempting though it will be to get your charity or business back to its former glory post-haste, it can take weeks or months for properties to dry out after a flood, so wait to redecorate.
Your insurance provider can advise on the best course of action in the wake of a storm.
Should you want more information, Unity’s account handlers are happy to talk through your queries and concerns.
Storm damage cover for your buildings
Our expert advisors are happy to help arrange the storm damage cover for your buildings. Give us a call on 0845 0945 702.