The long winter months in the UK can take their toll, on everything from our health and energy levels, to seasonal damage in the home and workplace. Are you doing what you can to protect yourself from stress, hassle and possible financial loss?
Are your buildings sufficiently protected?
Extreme weather conditions cause all sorts of issues for homeowners and those with a business premises, as is the case for many dental or medical practice owners.
Also, if you own a rental property you are responsible to rectify issues for your tenants, so the same risks, and therefore the same rules, apply.
Taking precautions to avoid problems is the best method. However, some situations can’t be avoided so having suitable insurance, for those occasions where your precautions don’t suffice, is vital.
Insurance policies vary in the cover they provide and distinguishing between weather damage, storm damage and accidental damage can be crucial.
Most insurance policies will cover storm damage when a natural disaster occurs, however it is essential to review the finer details of your policy to ensure you have adequate cover.
Storm and weather damage is a complex area of insurance, as is flooding, which also requires specific attention.
5 tips to minimise risk to your buildings this winter
Burst water pipes are common in winter. Ensure you know where your stopcock is, so that you can switch the water off in the event the pipes may freeze over. This will minimise damage and may save you time and money in making a claim on your insurance.
Clear guttering and drains to prevent rainwater from overflowing and causing blockages that require professional help to clear. This simple maintenance job could save far larger complications, so get your handy-man over to spend an hour keeping things clean and tidy outside your home or practice.
Excessive rainfall can affect your property, particularly if you are on the ground floor. Ensure you are taking measures to suitably seal your building and keep outdoor areas completely clear so water build up doesn’t occur.
If you have any large trees located very near to your home or practice, it is important to consider what could happen in the event of high winds. Ensure they are maintained and trimmed back to avoid broken windows or branches falling onto parked cars, for example.
In the rare event of extremely heavy snowfall, ensure that build-up is removed from drains and the roof of your home or practice. The weight of snow can do significant damage to your property.
Lack of maintenance combined with poor weather conditions is one of the key causes for insurance claims. Carrying out simple maintenance jobs can save time, money and hassle in the long run.
Discuss your insurance policy with a specialist provider to ensure you have the best cover to include provisions for winter weather.
Are your contents sufficiently protected?
In addition to maintenance, darker evenings provide more opportunities for criminal activity so it is important to do what you can to deter this. Ensure your home and practice is locked or better still alarmed, and that you keep valuables locked away safely, out of sight for any opportunists.
If you are planning a winter holiday, where your home will be vacant for a number of days or weeks, don’t publicise your plans on social media. This is also a way that thieves can plan their attack whilst you are away from home.
Insuring your contents on an “All Risks” basis will ensure you have a comprehensive level of insurance. Having to replace valuable items could leave you significantly out of pocket if you have insufficient cover in place.