Most home insurance policies will protect you to some degree against damage
caused by the weather, if, that is, the damage is not as a result of a
lack of maintenance on your part. Still, no one wants to have to claim
on their insurance policy, and there are a few measures that you can
take to reduce the risk of suffering weather damage.
Probably the most common type of weather damage to houses is flooding.
At the time of a flood anything that can be removed should
be taken to the upper floors, and, if possible, nothing should be
excluded. You should make sure that all your important personal
documents, particularly anything related to your insurance policy and
essential contacts should be moved somewhere safe and dry. You should
also turn off your gas, electricity and water at the mains, which may
make it impossible to remain in your house, but will also help to reduce
the impact of damage.
Another common problem in the winter is frozen tanks or pipes, this can lead to
such tanks and pipes bursting and then subsequently leaking water into
the house. This is often experienced when people take winter holidays,
leaving their house for weeks at a time. First of all, ensure that all
your pipes and tanks in the loft are fully insulated, and where possible
that your loft insulation is over ten centimetres thick and secured into
If you are going to leave your house for a period of time, leave the
heating on a low setting, you may also want to open any loft hatches
that you may have to allow warm air from the lower house to circulate
into other parts of the house and keep the pipes warm.
If you should be unfortunate enough to have the water in the pipes freeze,
the first action should be to turn off the water at the stopcock this
will prevent any more water coming into the pipes and causing a
potentially dangerous build up of pressure. The next thing to do is open
the tap closest to the frozen part of the pipe and if you can access it
start to heat the pipe at the point closest to the tap with a hairdryer
or a hot water bottle. Do not use intense forms of heating as this may
well put stress on the pipe with a rapid change of water pressure.
Should the pipes happen to burst, turn off the water at the main stop valve and
switch off the central heating. Open all the taps in your house to give
the opportunity to drain excess water out of the system as quickly and
easily as possible. If you find that water is causing the ceiling to
bulge or swell, pierce the plaster to let the water through.
Most companies will pay you for any damage that you do happen to suffer,
particularly if you can demonstrate that you have done everything in
your power to fix the problem. You should bear in mind that if you have
a problem that may take some money to fix, do it immediately in case the
problem gets any worse. Home insurance is a valuable form of protection,
especially if you happen to live in an area at high risk of extreme