The storms and severe weather of winter are probably not blown out yet. There may be still more to come – and with them the very real risk of damage to your home. Some of that damage may become immediately apparent and some of it stored up for later, for longer-standing issues such as subsidence.
So, let’s take a look at some of those main causes of damage and what you might do to protect your home against the elements
Severe winter weather is unlikely to expose immediate problems with subsidence – but it might nevertheless be storing up trouble for the future when any water tables fall and the ground begins to dry out.
If such problems subsequently develop, the damage may be serious and potentially expensive to repair. For that reason, many home owners might want to check whether the cover they have arranged for their home and its contents also includes subsidence insurance.
You might find it difficult to secure such cover, however, if your home has been subject to subsidence in the past or if it has been built in an area known to have suffered from the problem. In that case you might want to consult a specialist provider of subsidence insurance – such as us here at GSI Insurance, where we are able to find cover at a competitive price or, if you prefer, identify the most suitable home insurance packages that do not include protection against subsidence.
You can find out more about subsidence by reading our Guide to Subsidence.
High winds, heavy rain, ice and snow all have the capacity for testing your home to the limits. This makes it all the more important that you keep your home properly maintained and in a good state of repair, paying particular attention to such precautions throughout the year.
Indeed, a failure to maintain your home in a reasonable condition may prejudice any claim you may need to make following structural damage from winter storms. Unless you do what it takes to keep your home in a good state of repair, your insurer might take the view that you have failed in your responsibility to take all reasonable care in mitigating any loss or damage.
A further potentially serious event during winter weather is flooding. Once again, if you are in an area previously vulnerable to flooding or one defined as at risk by the Environment Agency, you may find it difficult to arrange sufficient cover at a reasonable price, though the new FloodRE scheme may help.
When you have been able to arrange the relevant insurance cover, the onus is still on you to take all reasonable steps to mitigate the risks of loss or damage to your property as a result of the floods.
The particular measures appropriate to your own property of course depend on its location and construction, but a useful checklist of precautions you might take is suggested by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).