Following last winter’s extreme weather and this week’s battering from the remains of Hurricane Gonzalo, home owners – especially those preparing to sell – are being urged to undertake simple tasks to ensure that their properties are better protected against the elements this year.
Sainsbury’s Bank has warned that the likelihood of needing to make a home insurance claim in winter is significantly elevated, as analysis shows that there were 179% more claims last winter than there were in spring (110% more than summer and 59% more than autumn).
Over a quarter (28%) of households surveyed by the bank said that their homes were very prepared for winter, while 44% felt that their homes were reasonably well prepared, as only 1% said that their homes were not at all prepared.
According to the Bank, the vast majority of home insurance claims last year were for storms and damage in relation to bad weather, including roof damage. Escaped water from burst pipes accounted for over 10% of all home insurance claims, Sainsbury’s data also shows.
“There’s no doubt last winter was extremely tough on many households, and while you can’t mitigate against all eventualities, there are certainly some things you can do to help winter-proof your house. Key things to check are gutters and drains, roofs and boilers. And we’d strongly recommend householders find out where their water valve is and how to turn it off,” commented Tom Thompson of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance.
Sainsbury’s Home Insurance winter preparation tips:
– Ensure gutters and drain covers are cleared of leaves and debris
– Have a look at your roof (or get a professional to check); ensure it is sturdy with no tiles missing, and the chimney stack looks in good shape
– Check loft insulation is thick enough and in good condition
– Have your heating system and boiler checked
– Insulate exposed pipes or water tanks to prevent them from freezing and bursting
– Learn how to turn off your water valve in case of burst pipes
– Keep a supply of salt, or grit, in case of snow