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 The only thing that’s worse is to later discover that your insurance policy is out of date, or doesn’t provide the cover you need.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

MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

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ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

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NathanG
NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

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Landlady14
Landlady14 01 Mar 2017

You would think so Niraj Shah! My experience only proves that there are varying qualitiers of professional in all aspects of property letting. None of the ones I have dealt with, from letting agents to...

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Mark
Mark 01 Mar 2017

Thanks for this article. Hopefully one day everybody's lifestyle will be eco-sustainable.

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Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor 28 Feb 2017

I was convinced that London was the most expensive!

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Alan Read
Alan Read 28 Feb 2017

Australia are leading the way in this I think. The trouble with Britain is we don't get enough sun to make use of solar power.

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James Powell
James Powell 27 Feb 2017

This is a very good news.

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DanHumphreys
DanHumphreys 27 Feb 2017

It sounds like a good idea. Anything to help the younger generation get a foothold.

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Matt
Matt 20 Feb 2017

Is this fake news?

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Matthew Hollywood
Matthew Hollywood 07 Feb 2017

Matthew Hollywood - Director Mishon Mackay Land & New Homes - Brighton The shortage of New Homes is in part effected by the lack of land sales. Land sales are held back because there is a disparity between...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 30 Jan 2017

Hi Graham, Would be interesting to see the above figure calculated against an investment via a Lt Company /SPV structure and if the investor found themselves pushed in to the higher tax bracket. Mortgage...

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