Insuremyhouse.ie say there was a 'huge surge' in the number of people trying to get home insurance quotes in the lead up to Hurricane Ophelia
Home insurance brokers www.insuremyhouse.ie have reported that, based on anecdotal evidence, thousands of home around the country may 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 several weeks ago. Insuremyhouse.ie say they calls from anxious homeowners spiked to an increase of 65% as people sought to insure their property having allowed the cover to lapse in the weeks and/or months leading up to the bad weather.
Now, with the snow and low temperatures setting in, the house insurance company has urged homeowners to ensure their policies are up-to-date and to take the necessary steps to protect their homes.
“We know that some people allow their cover to lapse but Hurricane Ophelia really flagged just how many homes were perilously uninsured," says Deirdre McCarthy, home insurance expert with www.insuremyhouse.ie.
"We received a flurry of calls from homeowners all over the country, including Kilkenny, as soon as Met Eireann flagged the hurricane’s approach."
Insuremyhouse.ie say that taking the risk of going without cover is leaving homeowners hugely financially exposed.
Insuremyhouse.ie have outlined some simple steps people can take to protect their property:
· Make sure that water pipes and water tanks in the attic are insulated with good quality lagging,
· Know where the stopcock that turns off the water is located and make sure it works.
· 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 cable wires or phone lines enter your home can be an entry point for freezing air. Purchase a tube of foam insulation, and close them up. Then, use weather stripping to remedy any cracks around your doors.
· Keep Your Gutters Clean: Full gutters increase your chance of having ice form on your roof, and that's not something you want to mess with! 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, sealants and varnishes available to do this
· If there are immediate floods warnings for your areas then it might be worth using sandbags and wrapping to protect your property
· If you live in a flood prone area it might be a good idea during more risky periods to keep personal and expensive items as high above ground level as possible
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer any property damage in the wake of a storm, ensure you 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 receipt 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”