According to M&S Money in the UK, weather-related claims have increased by 200% over the last three years.
- Seven out of ten people know they have a responsibility to keep their home in good conditionLess than a third of people carry out simple preventative measures
- There were almost 30,000 claims due to damage to homes and businesses from burst pipes from last December’s freeze. The total cost of household claims was €173.1 million, while commercial claims amounted to €50.6 million.
- €224 million was paid out on flood damage claims last year
- The Irish Insurance Federation last November 8514 claims so far
- Household insurance claims will cost the industry €77 million (4,629 house claims)
- Commercial property claims will cost €159 million (1,541 commercial property claims)
- Scientists predict that climate change may lead to more frequent flooding in the future.
Basic maintenance you can do to help prevent damage to your home (from flooding.ie):
- To improve the flood proofing of your walls, you can use products such as liquid membranes, polymer/cement coatings, mastic asphalt or pre formed sheet membranes.
- To improve the flood resistance of your windows and doors, check that the seal around the frames is intact and doesn’t have any cracks. Treat any wooden frames with oil based waterproof stains, paint or varnish.
- You can use a range of temporary defences to protect your house in the event of a flood, such as sandbags, floorboards and wrapping.
- If you are carrying out any extension or building work on your house, consider having a waterproof membrane built into the foundations. Also consider closed cell cavity insulation at ground floor level and a raised damp proof course. The electrical sockets should be placed above the height of floodwater from previous years and any air conditioning, heating or gas units should be situated on the first floor or in the attic.
- Make sure that any streams, rivers or lakes on your property are able to flow. Check for blockages in the stream and ensure that the banks have not eroded.
- Always ensure you have a stock of materials on hand which are useful during a flood, such as plywood, plastic sheeting, sandbags (unfilled), sand, nails, a hammer, shovel, bricks, blocks of wood and a saw.
- Stay vigilant and regularly inspect your property for cracks or gaps in the brickwork and floors or around windows, doors and pipes.
- If you live in a flood risk area it is always a good idea to store any sentimental personal items upstairs or above the highest possible flood level as these are impossible to replace. The same is true of bank and insurance details, as well as essential contact numbers.
- Valuable items, such as computers or televisions, should also be stored above ground level. For example, keep your computer on the table or desk rather than under it.
- Get your pipes covered with insulation and check and clean your drain pipes regularly
Make sure your home insurance gives you the cover you need against weather-related damage – check out AXA’s cover here.
Brought to you by AXA Home Insurance Ireland