If a storm hits and leaves your property damaged, what are the next steps? And how should you prepare for future storms?
We want you to be well informed, just in case a tree falls down on your garage or your tiles are torn off your roof. Knowing what to do, and acting quickly, is key.
How do I protect my property from a storm?
High winds and heavy rain can wreak havoc on your home, causing considerable damage.
You can limit the amount of damage a storm has on your property by following these precautionary measures:
Check your roof for any loose tiles or damaged chimney pots. Make sure they are repaired, and that your TV aerial is properly secured.
Make sure all your bushes and trees are trimmed back so debris doesn’t fly into your windows and other glass.
Clear out your gutters – you don’t want leaves creating any blockages.
Park your car in a garage if possible – if you don’t have a garage, make sure it’s not sitting underneath any trees.
If you know a storm is coming, unplug any electrical devices that aren’t necessary. That way, if lightning strikes, you shouldn't have damage from a power surge.
What do I do when the storm arrives?
It kind of goes without saying, but make sure all your windows, doors and shutters are closed.
It’s a good idea to draw your curtains – they could protect you if high winds smash your windows.
If you need to evacuate your home, don’t forget to turn off your gas, electricity and water.
What do I do after a storm?
Now’s the time to contact your insurer.
With your buildings cover, you should be insured up to a certain amount (or an unlimited amount, depending on your level of cover) to fix things like walls, roofs, driveways, patios, conservatories and outbuildings. Often you’ll find that hedges, gates and fences are not covered.
It’s also a good idea to check your home insurance includes contents cover. With this, the items in your home will also be covered up to a certain amount.
If you find yourself in need of emergency repairs to make your home safe, get in contact with a local qualified tradesman as soon as possible. Make sure you ask for an itemised invoice.
If you can’t get in touch with a local qualified tradesman, then we recommend contacting your insurance company. They should be able to arrange a call between you and a qualified tradesman, so you receive immediate advice.
Don’t forget to check through your policy booklet, and work out if you can recover any of the costs. Plus, if the damage is extensive, take a photo before it’s repaired. This should help your insurance company to settle a claim at a later date.
If your gas, water or electricity supplies are affected, get in touch with your supplier as soon as possible. You can normally find their number at the top of one of your monthly bills.
Finally, if your home insurance is with Direct Line, contact us immediately to register your claim and get further guidance on what to do next.