Insuremyhouse.ie has reported that, based on anecdotal evidence, thousands of homes around the country have allowed their home insurance policies to lapse.
The home insurance experts say that this was evidenced by the huge surge in the number of people trying to get home insurance quotes in the lead up to hurricane Ophelia this October. Insuremyhouse.ie say that calls from anxious homeowners spiked by 65 per cent in the run-up to the bad weather. Insuremyhouse.ie is urging homeowners to ensure their policies are up-to-date and to take the necessary steps to protect their homes.
“A home is, for most people, the most expensive thing they’ll ever own, as well as the greatest debt they’ll ever incur,” said Deirdre McCarthy of Insuremyhouse.ie “Not having your home cover up to date really does put you in a precarious position.
With that in mind, Insuremyhouse.ie have outlined some simple steps that people can take to protect their property:
Make sure that water pipes and water tanks are insulated with good quality lagging,
If a pipe bursts, turn off the water at the stopcock, switch off central heating and any other water heating installations and open all taps to drain the system.
Check the exterior walls of your home for holes: Even small holes where cables or phone lines enter your home can be an entry point for freezing air. Use foam insulation to close them up.
Full gutters increase your chance of having ice form on your roof. Set aside some time to clean your gutters out before the freezing temperatures get here.
Ensure your external walls and windows are adequately water resistant – there are various products available to do this.
If there are immediate flood warnings for your area, it might be worth using sandbags and wrapping to protect your property.
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer any property damage in the wake of a storm, contact your insurer immediately to initiate the claims process.
If necessary, arrange for emergency repairs to be carried out to stop any damage getting worse.
Where possible, keep evidence of damaged goods and/or receipts for everything that you replace. Photographic evidence is useful.
If you need to move out of your home while you are being repaired then alert your insurance provider of this.