Storm damage to property was the culprit in over one in four claims for residential property clients in 2023, with the average cost per claim for Lansdown Insurance Brokers, coming in around £3,000. Of the 94 claims made, 27 were because of storms.
This was a record number for the firm with the most frequent claims being for repairs to roofs, flat as well as tiled, and damage to outside structures including sheds and garages.
“Regular property maintenance checks can ensure homes are weather-proof and protected from the effects of high winds, heavy rain and hail or snow,” Darren Bee, associate director at Lansdown said. “Simple tasks such as making sure gutters and drains are checked and clear of leaves, or debris, can make a significant difference.”
It can also help, before cold weather, to lag external water pipes to prevent frozen burst pipes. Regular inspections of the roof will help spot any slipped or loose tiles and help keep the house secure and watertight. Regular servicing to the boiler and heating systems will ensure that they are in good working order.
These are among the few “proactive steps” that can “prevent disasters.” Regular maintenance is also crucial to safeguard homes and reduce the risk created by adverse weather events. These steps can ensure that property owners not only protect their investment but “also contribute to the overall resilience of our communities” by reducing the frequency of insurance claims and ensuring a safer and more secure living environment.
Storm damage to property includes roof damage from high winds or water ingress as a result of flooding. Only claims caused by burst pipes and water leaks were more common within houses and flats in 2023.
In the wake of storm damage, tenants, homeowners as well as business owners should know their responsibilities and their rights in terms of liability, repairs, and insurance claims. It can be useful to seek advice from a property solicitor. Fences, walls, and trees are among the first casualties in a storm and are a common cause for arguments between neighbours and may escalate to legal dispute.
Insurers also often define what is and isn’t a storm. If the weather event doesn’t meet certain criteria, any damages may not qualify as storm damage. It is therefore vital to understand any policy you have and its conditions and requirements.