Insurers are urging their customers to take action in a bid to minimise the risk of damage and injury as Storm Doris hits the UK.
Heavy rain, snow and strong wind are battering the country today, and insurers will be braced for a string of claims. But the outlook can be improved by following a few basic tips, they say.
The AA has written to its home-insurance customers that are most at risk.
“Severe weather always brings a rash of claims for damage to homes – some of which are unavoidable, such as a TV aerial becoming dislodged, a branch coming off a tree or roof slates being lifted, but others are entirely preventable,” said the AA’s Michael Lloyd.
“For instance, past storm claims have included equipment in gardens that take to the air and cause damage to other properties. Trampolines are a prime suspect and one claim involved an airborne trampoline causing damage to several vehicles.
“Others include shed doors being wrenched off or loose fence panels flying away. Garden furniture can also easily be carried off by a high wind.”
Meanwhile, Tim Price, of NFU Mutual, said rural properties were particularly vulnerable to events such as Storm Doris.
“Strong winds in rural areas can cause significant damage as farms and homes are situated on higher ground and less protected by other buildings,” he said.
“Rural areas can be prone to power cuts with lines brought down by high winds and fallen trees. It’s important that people are prepared if severe weather strikes and our priority is to provide immediate, practical assistance to our customers.”
Mr Price said the effects of storms Desmond, Eva and Frank alone had led to payouts of £50m by NFU Mutual.
- Don’t risk injury by attempting to clear snow from roofs or attempting emergency repairs while the storm is ongoing
- Prepare for power cuts and make sure you have torches and batteries
- Get your vehicles under cover, if possible
- Secure outdoor garden furniture and bins
- Make sure you have you insurer’s emergency helpline to hand