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Winter weather advice for homeowners

Homeowners have been reassured their insurance should cover any damage caused by the extreme winter weather – but only if their property was in good condition in the first place.

Anthony Hughes, said the predicted snowfall and ice for the coming days could mean many properties would be at risk.

“Last year when the UK was hit by the Beast from the East no fewer than three times, there was a huge increase in home insurance claims to cover storm and weather damage.

“And with the conditions looming for the coming days, that are sure to also cause travel disruption, homeowners should be prepared for snow and water-related damage.”
But Mr Hughes said the good news was that most home insurance policies should cover damage caused by a storm or extreme winter weather.

“In some cases though, insurers may refuse to pay out for a weather-related claim if they find you haven’t maintained your home to a high enough standard.

“So perhaps your roof is damaged due to heavy snowfall – but your insurer can throw out your claim is they believe the tiles on your roof were already damaged, or if poor maintenance had made the damage worse.”
Mr Hughes urged homeowners to take notice of the warnings from the Met Office and take steps to protect their homes in advance.

“Make sure you set your heating thermostat to the minimum temperature specified in your home insurance policy when the cold weather bites – this is usually 12 degrees C, but may vary depending on your provider.

“Try to disconnect and drain any hosepipes, sprinkler systems and water features too, as this will help to prevent any standing water freezing and causing damage to your property.”
He said homeowners should also make sure any exposed pipes in and around their home were well insulated – particularly in basements, attics, lofts, garages, in kitchen cupboards, or on the outside of the property.

“Before the weather takes hold, double check that you know where your stopcock is in case you need to turn it off in an emergency and in case the worst happens, have your home insurance policy details ready to make it easier if you need to make a claim.”

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