Is Your Home Storm Proof?
In between Hurricane Ophelia’s strange orange glow in the sky caused by it picking up dust from the Sahara and Storm Brian ravaging the UK, it’s been an interesting week in property for Robert Oulsnam and Company.
In the month of October to date, Robert Oulsnam and Company has sold over 60 properties across its branches in Birmingham and Worcestershire. We also continue to accept daily instructions for properties and have received flowers, chocolates and bottles of champagnes from happy customers!
Going back to the storms, if your property has been damaged in any way, here are a few tips to keep you on track.
Firstly, you need to speak to your insurers as soon as possible. This is especially important if the roof and structure of your property are damaged and no longer weather tight. You should document the damage by taking photos and noting the date and time of the damage.
When presenting your claim to insurers you should provide both before and after photos if these are available. Your building’s insurance cover should pay for the storm damage if you are the homeowner. If you are a tenant, then you must speak to your landlord as his policy should cover any damage.
You may not be covered for any damage to your garden – this you will have to check with your insurers. Obviously, if a neighbour’s tree has fallen into your garden causing damage to your property then you may be able to claim on your neighbour’s insurance.
When making an insurance claim you should always check your insurance policy to ensure that you will be covered. A lot of policy documents are now online so you may need to login to your insurance provider’s portal to access them. If this fails and you do not have a paper copy of your policy, you can always ring your insurer’s claim hotline number and speak to someone in person.
If you need to take emergency action immediately, then the more documented notes that you have including photos, the better for you. If you are hiring emergency tradesmen, you need to ensure that you obtain invoices and receipts to show your insurer.
It may also be worthwhile to hold onto any damaged property as part of your record to present to your insurer until the claim has been verified.
Finally, what is the likely cost of your claim? Is it more than the excess of your policy? If it is, how much is the actual cost? If not significantly more than your excess, is it worth claiming considering that you may lose any no claims discount that you have built up?
Here are a few pointers to help you to prepare and minimise any future damage to your property:
- - Ensure your drains and gutters are cleared regularly
- - Have your heating serviced yearly
- - Check your garden for any loose fencing
- - Cut any loose branches
- - Garden furniture should be put away in a shed or garage
- - Confirm that you do have building’s insurance cover. If not, is cover provided by your bank account or other financial product that you might have?
- - Keep your insurer’s number to hand – stick it on the fridge
Hopefully, the recent storms will have just flown past your property without damaging it, in which case you have nothing to worry about. However, as we are approaching winter, now may be a good time to review your insurance policies to ensure that you have the right cover should you be subject to the elements in days to come.