Homeowners told to take cover as Met office issues snow and ice warnings
How to protect your home against damage caused by this week’s forecast for power cuts and storms.
Snow and ice is predicted to hit most of Scotland and the north of England over the coming days and as the Met Office issues a yellow weather warning to be aware*, GoCompare home insurance is encouraging homeowners in those areas to be home insurance savvy to ensure they aren’t left out of pocket due to the extreme weather.
Weather related incidents are sometimes considered as accidental damage by some home insurers, so it’s important that householders know if they are covered for this, should they need to claim. Incidents that are considered by insurers as weather related damage connected to snow and ice, include:
- frozen pipes,
- ice dams forming on the roof,
- the weight of snow and ice on the roof causing damage,
- loss or displacement due to power failure (which might include food loss and flooding due to melting snow or a sudden thaw).
Hannah Isitt, GoCompare’s home insurance spokesperson, said: “Power cuts are a real issue during bouts of snow and ice. Only a few months ago, Storm Arwen knocked the power out for more than a week in many homes around the UK and left many people out of pocket with lost food from freezers, as well as lack of general living amenities, such as a cooker, oven and heating.
“Snow can be lots of fun, but it can also cause major problems for homeowners as the weight can damage roofs, ice can rupture pipes and it can also cause damage to power lines leading to power cuts.
“When it comes to home insurance it’s important that you know what you are covered for so you aren’t left out of pocket should you need to claim.
"As well as the insurance consideration, you can also make sure that your home is prepared for these extreme weather conditions by conducting general maintenance such as lagging exposed pipes, installing good loft and wall insulation, ensuring that your roof is in good condition, as well as removing excess snow and ice from guttering and drains – as long as it is totally safe to do so, of course.”
GoCompare has a few tips on how to prepare and what to do if you have a power cut during extreme weather:
- Call 105 to report the power cut. These calls are free of charge from all networks. Don’t call your power supplier, they do not control the power lines.
- Be prepared and make sure you have a few torches to hand. Candles are also handy, but a torch is a lot safer.
- Fill your kitchen cupboards with things that don’t need electricity to prepare. If your hob is a gas hob, think tins that are easy to warm up. But if you do have a gas hob, remember that you need electricity to light it, so have some matches or a safe gas lighter to ignite it.
- Consider investing in a wind up or battery powered radio, so you can hear the news and find out what is going on in the local area.
- Get your blankets and warm clothes ready and keep warm.
- Check on your neighbours to ensure they are safe, well and warm.
- Fully charge your laptop and mobile phone, as well as any external chargers you have.
- Keep a light on, so that you know when the power has been put back on.
- Keep your freezer/fridge door closed for as long as possible to keep the food as cold as possible and have a cooler back to hand, should you need to move it. It is estimated that food can stay fresh for up to four hours in a fridge, 48 hours in a freezer that is full, and 24 hours in a half full freezer.
- You could also store fridge food outside if the temperature is cold enough and you can store it in a safe place.
Hannah continued: “If you do have to claim due to snow and ice damage, make sure that you make a note of the time and date it occurred so you can inform your insurer should you need to claim. Some insurers have specific criteria of what they consider a weather-related incident, so it’s important you have up to date and accurate notes of the times and damage. As long as it’s safe to go outside, consider taking some photos of the damage so you can show your insurer what has happened.”
GoCompare home insurance has written a guide on what homeowners should do if they need to make a claim for weather damage: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/weather-damage-and-home-insurance/.
Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare
Notes to editors
** Source: Defaqto Matrix of 321 home buildings insurance policies and 356 home contents insurance policies – instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (24th November 2021). Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.
It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.
When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.
GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.
GoCompare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).