Hurricane Ophelia may have passed, but with Storm Brian on the way and a season of unpredictable weather possibly ahead, home insurance experts at www.insuremyhouse.ie are cautioning homeowners that the worst may not yet be over and to take action where they can.
Jonathan Hehir, leading insurance expert & MD of www.insuremyhouse.ie commented, “Ophelia certainly made herself know as she hit the country on Monday. The level at which people were impacted depended on where they were in the country. However, even if you emerged relatively unscathed, you should bear in mind that the bad weather isn’t over. A word of caution to homeowners is that while they may have escaped any negative repercussions from Ophelia – that doesn’t necessarily mean they are no longer at risk. We’re not trying to scaremonger – we just want to share some helpful tips that, if taken on board, could end up protecting homes around the country and saving people both financial headaches & heartaches along the way”.
With Storm Brian making its way to Ireland and heavy rainfall expected, the experts at Insuremyhouse.ie are urging people to take the necessary precautions to protect their property.
Ensure your external walls and windows are adequately water resistant – there are various products and sealants and varnishes available to do this.
If there are immediate floods warnings for your areas then it might be worth using sandbags and wrapping to protect your property.
If you live in a flood risk area during more risky periods it might be a good idea to keep personal and expensive items as high above ground level as possible.
Make sure that water pipes and water tanks in the attic are insulated with good quality lagging.
Know where the stopcock that turns off the water is located and make sure it works.
If a pipe bursts turn off the water at the stopcock, switch off central heating and any other water heating installations and open all taps to drain the system.
Check the Exterior Walls of Your Home for Holes: Even small holes where cable wires or phone lines enter your home can be an entry point for freezing air. Purchase a tube of foam insulation, and close them up. Then, use weather stripping to remedy any cracks around your doors.
Keep Your Gutters Clean: Full gutters increase your chance of having ice form on your roof, and that's not something you want to mess with! Set aside some time to clean your gutters out before the freezing temperatures get here.
Jonathan advised, “If you are unfortunate enough to suffer any property damage in the wake of this storm or others then ensure you contact your insurer immediately to initiate the claims process”.
Some other guidelines for those affected include:
If necessary, arrange for emergency repairs to be carried out to stop any damage getting worse.
Where possible keep evidence of damaged goods and/or receipt everything that you replace. Photographic evidence is useful.
If you need to move out of your home while you are being repaired then alert your insurance provider of this.
Impact on premiums
Jonathan added, “Insurers have said that it’s too early to make a statement on whether or not Ophelia will have a material impact on premiums – they need to assess the damage first. Regardless of this however the fact is that bad weather leads to claims – and more claims can and often do lead to increased premiums. So the less claims that have to be made the better for everyone”.