According to buy-to-let specialist insurer, Simple Landlords, there has been a reported surge in calls from landlords whose investment properties were damaged by Storm Angus.
Angus, the first named storm of the season, hit the UK last Sunday with winds up to 97mph recorded across southern England.
Simple Landlords received 40% more claims on the Monday and Tuesday following the storm than the previous week, and a 25% spike in calls.
Amongst those, landlords made 672% more claims for weather related damage such as damage caused by falling trees, and roof damage caused by flash flooding.
Dave Walker, Claims Manager at Simple, West Yorkshire, said: “Our team was ready to help our customers and I’m pleased to report we answered over 80% of calls within 20 seconds.
The first storm of the season serves as a reminder to all landlords to make sure their property is well maintained as we head into winter. A well maintained property stands a much better chance of squaring up to mother nature than one in need of repairs. Last year the cumulative effects of heavy winds and rain took their toll and claims rose in severity towards the end of the season.”
Burst pipes caused by frozen water is the number one issue caused by falling temperatures and account for one fifth of insurance claims made by landlords.
This happens most often over winter if a property is empty and the heating is off because it is unoccupied or the tenants have gone on holiday. The water freezes and expands in the pipes, which crack and burst when the weather warms.
Prevent burst pipes by advising your tenants to keep the heating on low even at night, and especially if they go away on holiday. If they do have a leak, it is their responsibility to report it promptly and your responsibility as a landlord to arrange the repair. If your tenants do find a burst pipe, make sure they can switch the water off immediately at the stop cock to prevent further damage.
Check your insurance policy
The last thing you want as you’re shifting into holiday mode is to discover your tenants are having an emergency. The only thing that’s worse is to later discover that your insurance policy is out of date, or doesn’t provide the cover you need. Make sure your policy is in order and up to date and if you live far away or will be unavailable over Christmas and New Year, consider adding home emergency cover to your policy.