Much of the UK has been battered by Storm Doris over the last few days, and many are being plunged into icy temperatures yet again. Unfortunately, this could cost you a lot more than a temporary spike in the heating bill, with Policy Expert warning that homeowners should brace themselves for the risk of thousands of pounds' worth of damage.
Their figures show that the average claim for storm damage is an estimated £905, and with one in 10 Brits having had to make a claim because of this kind of damage – including claims for damaged roofs, fences and outbuildings, as well as burst or damaged water pipes – many could be facing some hefty bills as a result of this month's weather.
This isn't helped by the fact that many people wouldn't know what to do in the event of storm damage occurring, while others dramatically underestimate the costs involved in repair. For example, 14% of those surveyed admitted that they wouldn't know what to do if a water pipe burst in their home, and while a quarter would be confident they could fix it themselves, three-quarters would call in an expert.
However, respondents underestimated the cost of an emergency plumber by nearly £30 an hour – they assumed it would cost an average of £63 an hour, when in reality it's closer to £90 – which further inflates the cost of storm damage. That's why being prepared is vital, particularly when it comes to home maintenance and getting the right home insurance policy.
"It's essential people are aware of the potential costly damage a storm could throw at them this winter," said Adam Powell, head of Operations at Policy Expert. "Cold and stormy weather can ravage buildings and pipes, so we would urge all homeowners not only to protect their homes, but to invest a bit of time and money in ensuring you have the correct level of home insurance.
"For example, check the small print – some policies may not cover sheds and outbuildings, and others won't cover damaged boilers if they haven't been seen by a registered plumber. It's also important to remember that your home insurance policy isn't a maintenance policy. If a problem has been caused or exaggerated by general wear and tear, or poor upkeep of your property, it's highly likely you won't be covered – so make sure you're taking the necessary precautions just in case."
Compare home insurance policies to get the cover you need, and make absolutely sure to check the small print so you're completely prepared
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.