A guide to protecting your home and staying safe

If a storm’s on its way, here’s a checklist of things you should bear in mind to help you look after your home and keep safe until the bad weather passes:

Dark clouds over terraced houses

Shut windows and doors

  • Close and securely fasten doors and windows - including internal doors - and don’t forget to bolt any garage doors too.

Secure loose objects

  • Secure any loose objects outside, such as garden furniture or ladders. If you can’t put them away in a garage or shed, use elastic bungee cords to fix them to a solid object.

Put your car in the garage

  • Park your car in a garage or, if that’s not possible, try to park away from large trees, walls or fences

Get inside and stay safe

  • Make plans to stay indoors until the weather improves. Don’t go outside for any reason during the storm.

Keep torches/candles handy

  • During a storm there’s always the chance of a power cut, so make sure you have torches, candles and matches to hand.

Let the storm pass

  • Don’t be tempted to repair any damage until the wind has died down.

 

For up-to-the-minute weather warnings for your area, visit:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings

 

Making a claim

 

Making a claim - if you own a property:

  • Take photos of the immediate aftermath and keep a record of any damaged property or possessions.
  • Make sure your mobile phone is charged. Most insurers have 24 hour emergency helplines, but in the wake of severe storms, power and phone lines can be damaged.
  • Have your policy documents to hand, and your insurer will talk you through the claims process.
  • Your insurer may send out a loss adjuster to look at the damage, so hold off on all but the most essential clean up and repairs.
  • Once it’s clear what repairs are needed, most insurers will arrange a company to carry out the work on your behalf. You’re free to choose a different supplier, but be aware that if the work runs over budget, you may not be covered for the additional cost. Either way, make sure you have your insurer’s approval before you book any work.

Making a claim - if you rent:

  • Call your landlord. They are responsible for repairing any damage to your home, as well as any furniture that came with the house, and claiming for them on a buildings insurance policy
  • Also ask your landlord about temporary accommodation if necessary, as this may be covered in their buildings insurance policy.
  • If any of your possessions have been damaged, you’ll need to claim on your contents insurance policy. Some insurers cover storm damage to garden furniture, so check your policy documents. Call your contents insurer to discuss the next steps.
  • Take photographs of all of your damaged items, as this will help when making a claim
  • Keep a record of all contact with your insurer, including who you spoke to, when and what was agreed, and keep hold of any letters and emails.
Find out more about Home Insurance from Swinton...
 

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