What to do if your home is damaged in a storm

With winter fast approaching, homeowners across the UK are gearing up for storms, cold weather and any extreme bouts of weather. Check out our tips below to help you out with storm-proofing your house – as well as advice on what to do if worse comes to worst.

Precautions to take before a storm

Storm damage: Broken garden fence in North Devon during Storm Ciara
February 2020: Damaged fence in North Devon during Storm Ciara

Walking around your house and garden to see if you can spot any potential issues is the first step in protecting your house against storm damage. Key things that you should keep an eye out for are:

  • Loose or dead tree branches in your garden – a tree surgeon can prune these for you.
  • Damaged roof tiles – contact a roofer if you need any repairs done.
  • Unstable fencing – a fencing specialist is best placed to advise you on this.
  • Clogged gutters, which allow rainwater to build up – get in touch with a gutter cleaner to get rid of any debris.
  • Unsecured garden furniture, ornaments or tools – if you want to build or maintain a shed for storage, find a garden shed specialist.
  • Cars on your driveway – if possible, park in a garage to protect your car from the elements.
Storm damage: Flooded road in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire following Storms Dennis and Ciara
February 2020: Flooded road in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire following Storms Dennis and Ciara

Dealing with damage after storms

1. Be careful! Watch out for hazards like exposed nails or broken glass. If you spot anything serious, such as the smell of gas, leave your house and contact your gas provider immediately

2. Get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as possible. They can advise you on any questions that you may have with your home insurance claim, if you need one. If it’s out of hours, check your policy document for the emergency contact number.

Couple looking at their house insurance policy documents

3. Note down and take photos of all damage – make sure to write down the date and time! This is useful information for your insurance claim

4. If you’re staying in your house, you should check your electricity and gas supplies before using them. Don’t touch any loose or exposed wires, obviously! Contact a qualified electrician or a vetted gas engineer.

Does home insurance cover storm damage?

Person visiting their house insurance provider's website on a tablet

In most cases, storm damage will be covered under home insurance. However, your insurer has to be satisfied that you’ve maintained your home to a reasonable standard, and that any damage hasn’t been caused due to disrepair. If your insurance claim is denied, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman.

Check out more advice and tips for protecting your home from UK weather.  

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