Storm Angus causes surge in BTL insurance claims

Storm Angus causes surge in BTL insurance claims

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.”


Take these simple steps from Simple Landlords Insurance to winter-proof your property now, and enjoy peace of mind for you and your tenants over winter.
 
Prevent burst pipes
 
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 The only thing that’s worse is to later discover that your insurance policy is out of date, or doesn’t provide the cover you need.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.
 
Weather proof your roof
 
Wind and storm damage can cause some serious damage to your property but insurance policies will only cover this if your property has been reasonably maintained.
 
Most insurance companies measure storms using the Beaufort wind force scale. It is generally considered highly unlikely that a storm below 52mph would damage a well maintained property. Loose ridge tiles, old fencing probably won’t be covered on your insurance if damaged in winds less that those classed as at storm levels by the Beaufort scale.
 
Make sure the heating is working

By having a draughty, cold property, not only is it uncomfortable for your tenants but it also could lead to a number of problems, including mould, a broken boiler and frozen pipes.
 
Take steps to improve your property’s heating by installing insulation, bleeding radiators and installing draught excluders around windows and doors. It’s also a good idea to call a Gas Safe registered engineered to check the boiler is in good working order, before temperatures really plummet.
 
Unblock gutters

Although often overlooked, clearing gutters of debris and leaves is crucial, especially in the colder months. Having gutters that don’t drain properly can cause a whole host of problems for your property, like rot, penetrating damp and damage to the foundation caused by water running down external walls.
 
If it snows or freezes, a blocked gutter could also come loose from your property, causing even more problems. Check gutters are secured properly, and speak to your tenants about keeping them clear.
 
Condensation and mould

Mould is a nightmare for many landlords, and if ignored for a long time, it can be very difficult to get rid of. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also pose significant health risks especially to people with lung conditions and children, which could threaten your tenancy contract in a worst case scenario.
 
During winter, damp and mould can get worse because of condensation caused by things like heated rooms with poor ventilation, or clothes being dried on radiators. Remove any existing patches of mould, and make sure your tenants know how to reduce damp and condensation in the home over winter.

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Latest Comments

Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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sean benton
sean benton 01 Sep 2017

Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

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Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

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Chris
Chris 30 Aug 2017

Unfortunately, all the legislation bears its force on Landlords and ignores, naively, the effect of Rogue Tenants on the ability of landlords to keep houses in repair and offer properties for rent at reasonable...

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Christian Donovan
Christian Donovan 18 Aug 2017

The write-down on house values, combined with the fall in the GBP saddled the fund?s property portfolio with a 1.4% loss in the second quarter. The shocking amount of $240 million.

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Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

Interesting point of view.

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