The Great British weather, one of our favourite topics of conversation but also one of our biggest frustrations. This is perhaps, not really surprising, when you consider the floods and flood warnings that have become a regular feature in our weather forecasts over the last few winters.
Lucy Turner, Relationship Manager at Northwood Insurance Services, offers her advice for landlords looking to deal with weather damage and provides some top tips to help protect against future catastrophes.
“There are lots of things you can do to prepare your property, so that if flooding happens, the damage it causes is less extensive and less costly,” Lucy explains. “The old adage that ‘it always pays to be prepared’, certainly rings true here; the key is to act now so you’re ready if there is a flood in your area in the future. This will help you not only to save money, but will also save you a lot of time, inconvenience and heartache further on down the line.
“Check your insurance policies to see what cover they provide for flood damage? Do you have cover for alternative accommodation for your tenants? Check also for exclusions and warranties in respect of weather damage, which may affect your ability to successfully claim. I would also advise that you keep these documents close to hand, including insurer’s claims reporting and out of hours phone numbers for emergencies.”
- Always check roof structures and keep on top of maintenance in respect of gulleys, gutters, downpipes and drains, as well as trees and high structures, such as chimneys. During high rainfall, blocked guttering could cause extensive water damage to your property.
- Maintenance is a key factor in avoiding ingress of water into a property – regularly check roof areas for slipped or missing tiles, loose or cracked flashings or worn concrete.
- Check for weather warnings, the Met Office provides up-to-date weather advisories and warns the public of severe or hazardous weather through its National Severe Weather Warning Service
- If you know a flood is going to hit, you are going to want to prepare your property as best as you can to protect your belongings and limit damage. As well as making it as safe as possible: Elevating any electrical goods away from lower levels and possible flood areas within your property, for example; you could consider installing ‘check valves’ to prevent floodwater from backing up into drains; and construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building.
- Create a flood plan so your tenants know what to do and who to contact in an emergency. Consider how you will support your tenants if your rental property does become flooded.
If you do suffer a flood take photographic evidence of any damage but only if it is safe to do so. You can then send this to your insurance broker.
Even when the water drains away it is still vital that you take every care and safety precaution.
If you do suffer a flood look to see what future improvements you can make to further protect your property.
For more information and advice why not get in touch with Northwood Insurance via 01905 887 837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northwood Insurance Services and Northwood are trading names of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd (Reg No. 0837227), which is part of Jelf Group PLC (Reg No. 2975376), and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Registered address: Hillside House, Bowling Hill, Chipping Sodbury, BS37 6JX. (Registered in England and Wales). Not all products and services are regulated by the FCA.JIB148.06.16