It is generally a simple and straight forward business when protecting your home against some of the major risks to which it is vulnerable – especially during the adverse weather conditions that winter storms or summer droughts may bring.
In certain cases, however, some insurers may take the view that your home is especially vulnerable to particular risks that represent a serious threat to the building and its contents that they charge a considerably higher premium or decline cover altogether.
Examples of such risks might include:
- subsidence – if your home has suffered from this kind of damage in the past or is in an area known to be subject to the risks of subsidence, especially following long dry periods in the summer; and
- flooding – again, if your home has been subject to flooding in past winter storms or is an area susceptible to the risk, an insurer may exclude this particular peril from your home insurance policy, charge you more for your cover, or decline your proposal.
Niche insurance specialists
There are some specialist insurers – like ourselves at GSI Insurance – who welcome the opportunity for providing insurance in just these cases.
You might choose to arrange cover for your home with or without subsidence insurance protection or a policy that recognises its particular vulnerability to flooding.
Protection against the elements
Even with the protection of adequate insurance, however, there are still steps you may take to mitigate the punishing effects of the elements:
- reducing the risk of subsidence, for instance, might be achieved as simply as pruning back the foliage of nearby trees and shrubs, so helping to restrict the growth of roots that may be causing the problem;
- flood protection measures might also be included in the regular inspection and maintenance routines you conduct on the exterior of your home – when flood waters start rising, the last thing you want is for the problem to be made still worse by blocked guttering and drainage;
- preparing for the worst is one way of protecting your home, by keeping a supply of sandbags outside external doors to reduce the amount of flood water entering your home;
- utilities such as gas, electricity and water all need to be turned off, with electrical appliances unplugged and moved upstairs;
- those items of furniture that cannot be moved may be weighed down with sandbags to prevent them floating around on any rising flood water;
- although flooding might start at ground level, the effects are exacerbated if your roof is also leaking – when the weather is dry, leaks in your roof might by difficult to trace warn home removals company, Britannia Harrison and Rowley, so expert help may be required;
- spring cleaning the inside of your home in fair weather might expose problem areas and the need for maintenance to prevent the elements making things worse in the wet;
- regular and thorough maintenance of your home, both inside and outside, is probably the single most important exercise to give you early warning of either flooding or subsidence problems – and the earlier they are spotted, of course, the more effective and less expensive are remedial measures likely to be.
Protecting your home against the harmful and potentially devastating effects of the elements is something for which both you and your insurer share a responsibility.