Protect your property from storm damage!

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

With ‘Storm Abigail’ expected to reach Britain today, we look at how you can minimise damage to your home

Britain is bracing itself for the arrival to our shores of ‘Storm Abigail’ today. Heavy rain and high winds are expected with most of the country predicted to see gusts of up to 70mph, and 80mph in Scotland.

But while the storm is likely to come and go quickly, any damage caused to homes could take much longer to repair, and cause disruption to homeowners in the process.

Data from the Association of British Insurers found that insurers dealt with more than 420,000 storm-related claims during the winter of 2013/2014, with a bill of nearly £600m for the damage.

Homeowners are being urged to protect their home now to minimise any storm damage. Mark Hallam, head of products at Swinton Insurance, shares his top tips to weather-proof your property quickly and easily before the storm hits:

  1. Make sure that all fixtures and loose objects around your house and garden are either stored in a safe place, such as a shed or garage, or securely fastened down. Objects in gardens aren’t normally covered by insurance policies and can easily come loose in a storm.
  2. Close and fasten doors and windows. High winds can cause serious damage to frames and panels so ensuring they are secure is essential.
  3. Take care to clear gutters and drainpipes of blockages and fallen leaves to ensure that rainwater has somewhere to drain and isn’t likely to build into a flood.
  4. Park your car in a garage to reduce the risk of loose flying objects damaging the vehicle. If this isn’t possible, make sure that it is parked away from large trees.
  5. Heavy rain may cause flash flooding or cause rivers to burst their banks. To minimise damage use sandbags to block potential water entry points like doors on the ground floor and garden gates. You can usually obtain these from your local authority but be aware there may be a charge.
  6. Ensure that your home insurance documents are somewhere safe and easily accessible. This may require making a digital copy or passing it to a friend or neighbour.