Our homes are one of the most important things in our lives and protecting our homes is imperative.
All good homeowners insure their properties so should disaster strike, we are financially covered from the costs of rectifying this. However, there is still a mental strain attached to this and issues with our homes can have a huge impact on our daily lives.
In an ideal world, we should never have to claim on our home insurance and there are steps we can take to avoid having to make a claim.
Winter is one of the busiest times for insurance companies as claims increase. Below are six of the most common reasons for consumers making a claim and the actions you can do to prevent this.
New year, new you, new home? So many of us like to make changes to our lifestyle in the New Year. It’s a great period to start fresh but with high costs and the hassle of moving home, more of us are choosing to renovate our homes rather than purchasing a new one. This is so popular that 2-in-5 of us are choosing this option.
However, this is not without its risks. Before work is carried out, you will need to notify your insurer as they may need to adjust your policy to protect you, your content and your structure throughout the construction period.
Where many consumers go wrong it not checking neighbouring properties and if they have obtained the right to light. This is where they have benefitted from natural light for a certain period of time and now have the right to not have this obstructed, something your new extension may compromise.
Checking beforehand and consulting architects during the design process can prevent a worst-case scenario in the future. Your neighbour could claim compensation or even request the new structure to be torn down.
For complete peace of mind, you should consider the right to light insurance, and you can read more information about that by visiting www.lawsureinsurance.co.uk/our-products/title-protection/rights-light/.
Frozen pipes can cause a world of trouble. Water freezing causes expansion in our pipework which can lead to leaks or even a burst pipe. Not only is it costly to call out a plumber to fix this, but it can also flood our homes and cause damage to our contents.
Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather and cold winters are inevitable. However, you can take measures to prevent your pipes from freezing. Keeping your heating on allows warm water to constantly flow and keep your pipes warm.
Keep your internal doors open to allow warm air to flow through your property. If you are able, isolate the water supply to any outdoor taps, including any in garages or workshops. This way, the elements are unable to impact your plumbing.
Have your boiler serviced at the beginning of the winter, this ensures it is in full working condition throughout the colder months and you won’t have a nasty surprise from no hot water and burst pipes.
If there is a particularly harsh spell of weather, open your loft hatch to allow warm air to circulate into the top level. Many of your pipes will run through here so it is essential they are kept as warm as possible.
We all want to keep our homes as cosy as possible when it’s cold, but this comes with a risk of fire. Electric heaters may seem like a great idea, they quickly warm up your home and can reduce energy bills as you can isolate the heat.
Unattended or covered electric heaters are a huge fire risk so avoid them if you can. If you have no other option then it may be worth investing in a timer so it can automatically turn off. Even the most responsible homeowner may forget these now and then so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The holiday season brings some wonderful traditions, including candles for festive decorations. If we do not use these all year round, we can easily forget to add candle fire safety to our routine and forget to extinguish them. The added elements of trees indoors, paper decoration and flammable ornaments can cause unimaginable damage.
Instead of using candles, consider LED alternatives, these still give that lovely warm glow but remove all fire risk.
We’re all strapped for cash over the winter months and this includes burglars, who will take any opportunity to cash in on your hard-earned items. Shorter daylight hours mean burglars have even longer to sneak around in the dark unseen.
When the sun goes down, keep your curtains and blinds closed. The dark evenings mean that it is easy to see into your windows and get a feel for the layout of your home and what you own, you’d be amazed how much information can be picked up from a passing sideways glance.
You will most likely have a hidden pile of presents stashed, try not to keep these all in one place, break them up so if you do suffer from a home burglary, it will be harder for thieves to find.
Whether you love or loathe snow, it can come with consequences. Snow can become heavy and if your roof is not properly prepared, this can cause it to collapse. Keeping your roof as warm as possible is a great way to prevent snow from settling. You could invest in the installation of heat cables but unless you live somewhere with frequent snowfall, this may not be worth it.
As the snow starts to build up, try to remove it as often as possible, at least every 6 inches. You can do this yourself if you have the physical capabilities or you can hire a professional.
Try to have a roofing specialist come and visit your property before the cold weather so they can tell you if any immediate action needs to be taken. A small repair before snowfall could reduce the chance for a large bill later.
Many of us go away during the winter, whether it’s to visit family and friends over the holidays or to simply get away from the cold climate to enjoy the sun elsewhere.
Leaving your home empty poses risks for all the above. An empty home is more likely to be burgled and you probably turn your heating off to save on energy bills, which could lead to burst pipes that go undetected for days or even weeks.
When leaving to go on holiday, double lock doors, check all windows are locked and ask a trusted friend or neighbour to pop in now and then just to make sure the place is safe. Put your heating on a timer for the coldest hours of the day, usually earning morning, just to keep the warm water flowing.
You can also deter burglars with timed lights to give the appearance that you are home and keep curtains drawn.