Whilst home insurance is necessary to give you financial peace of mind in the event of an emergency, making a claim is always going to be an unwanted situation to deal with, even if you get a full reimbursement.
Here are some ways that you can minimise the risk of claiming by making sure your property is well-maintained, safe and secure.
This in turn will keep your insurance premiums down for future years.
Property maintenance tips for summer
With the warmer weather comes an ideal time to do a little property maintenance to get your home back in tip-top condition.
Mortar repairs – it is ideal to complete all mortar work, such as repointing or rendering during dry weather to speed up drying time and avoid moisture getting into brick work. So, check the outside of your house now to see if you need anything repaired.
Roof repairs – although fixing a roof needs to be done when the issue occurs, make sure it is complete before autumn when the weather gets colder and wetter. Flat roofs often cause problems for homeowners, and now is the perfect time to check for punctures or damage, to avoid future leaks.
Guttering – leaves and debris can build up in guttering, which need to be cleared before winter comes around again. Excessive rain can also cause guttering to crack and then leak so take the chance to fix these whilst the weather is favourable.
Trees and shrubs – the risk with with large trees and shrubs is one coming down and causing property damage or hurting someone, perhaps in high winds or if they are diseased. Roots are another common problem. Not only are root networks hidden, making it difficult to assess their whereabouts, but trees and shrubs also consume a lot of water, which can lead to subsidence or foundation damage. The advice is to keep branches and foliage pruned and get the health of trees and shrubs regularly checked by a specialist.
Plants growing on the outside of the house – ivy and wisteria are two popular plants to grow on the outside of houses. Whilst they may look beautiful, they can cause damage to stone and brickwork. If you do have any type of climber, trim them regularly to prevent them from blocking gutters or covering windows, which may cause wider damage to your property. In many cases though it is best to just avoid having them.
Hosepipes and outside taps – hosepipes and outside taps are exposed to all weather throughout the year which can cause them to crack or deteriorate. The summer weather is the perfect time to check their condition and replace, or repair, where necessary.
Keeping your home and valuables safe in summer
Summer is a time where you and your family will no doubt spend more time outdoors, where the weather allows. Here ae therefore a few tips to ensure your home and belongings are as safe as possible.
Garden equipment – valuable gardening tools, such as ride-on lawnmowers need to be specified on your insurance policy. Keep them in a safe and secure place and immobilised when not in use.
Bikes – the cost of replacing bicycles for the whole family can be considerable. Insurance policies will usually cover the loss or theft of bikes but make sure these are kept in a secure place so it doesn’t cause a problem in the first place.
Hot tubs – if you have a hot tub, check it is covered under your policy. Fully plumbed-in, or integrated tubs will be included in the buildings cover and inflatable or free-standing tubs will come under ’items in the open’. General maintenance of hot tubs is important to avoid cracks, leaks or other issues.
Safety tips for summer fun
BBQ’s – summer is a time to get out the barbeque, but there are safety considerations for these and other items such as fire pits. Keep them well away from property and flammable items. Be sensible, don’t leave them unattended and use the correct fuel. Ensure barbecues and any gas canisters (and connections) are regularly checked and in good condition before use to avoid anyone getting hurt and any damage to your home and out buildings.
Parties – the warm weather usually brings celebrations outside. If you are having larger gatherings or something out of the ordinary, the advice is to inform your insurance provider beforehand. Loss and damage to garden furniture, marquees and gazebos is usually covered under your contents insurance, but always best to check just in case.
Bonfires – as with any open fire, there are a number of safety issues to consider. Although bonfires are not recommended, ensure any fire is contained and you have the necessary safety precautions to put it out. Keep them away from buildngs and if you have a thatched property the recommendation is a minimum of 50 metres distance.