Sean O'Connell, MD of the Insurance Shop joins Aine to talk about insurance during times of flooding.
In winter we need to take extra care to protect ourselves, our families and our properties. Freezing conditions, floods, storms, the increased risk of fire at home and hazardous driving conditions are just some of the less welcome realities at this time of year.
RSA Insurance has prepared this detailed guide which outlines simple precautions that you can take to limit the risks that you and your family might face.
BEAT THOSE FREEZING CONDITIONS
Winter inevitably delivers bouts of severe frost.You can avoid the threat of damage that frost brings to your home.
1. Keep your home well heated during cold spells.
2. Insulate all pipework on the cold side of the insulation within your attic.
3. Insulate the top and sides of your water tank in the attic leaving the area underneath uninsulated and extend the insulation from the side of the tank to the ceiling
4. Find out where the stop valve is so that you know where and how to turn off the water in case of a burst pipe.
5. If you’re going to be away from home at any time during the winter;
• Leave the heating on at a low temperature or alternatively make use of a thermostat to ensure that the temperature is maintained above 4ºc.
• Open the attic door to let heat circulate.
• Be sure to ask a neighbour/friend to visit your house daily.
6. Make sure that all overflow pipes (including water cisterns etc.) are adequate and discharge to a drain system.
KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER
We are experiencing increased incidents of flash flooding and prolonged rainfall,which can cause major damage to an unprotected home.
1. Visually check the roof of your home for any damage and or missing slates and flashings. Flat roofs are particularly vulnerable to damage.
2. With roof coverings where you have any concern, have them inspected by a professional and arrange for repairs or replacement where necessary.
3. Keep all gutters, drainpipes and gullies around your home clear of leaves and other debris.This will prevent any water build-up allowing water to flow away quickly.
4. If you live in a flood prone area you need to;
• Check what contingency plans your Local Authority has in place.
• Be aware of any local flood warnings and evacuation procedures.
• Get to know the contact numbers of your local emergency services.
• Consider providing flood barriers to all ground floor openings including below ground floor air vents. It may be necessary to fit barriers across gateways or openings in boundary walls.
• Consider fitting non return valves on underground drains & sewers.
• Have access to sandbags for emergency use.
• Consider installing intervening walls or banks.
5. If flooding is inevitable, there are basic steps you can take (but only if it is safe for you to do so)
• Move possessions to an upstairs location or safely stack them.
• Unplug electrical appliances and turn off electrical power.
• Turn off water supplies at the mains.
6. When water subsides;
• Remove and dry out any damaged floor coverings and possessions.
• Proceed with any emergency repairs that help minimise damage.
• Have the electrical system checked for safety.
Figuring out how to make a claim and how it may affect you can be difficult.Naturally we hope you won't have any accidents or misfortune, but if you do, the following advice might be useful.
The key points to remember are;
1. Check your policy booklet to see if the loss or damage is covered under the policy.
2. Inform RSA Insurance or your Broker about the incident as soon as possible.
3. If it is safe to do so, take any emergency action necessary to protect your property from further damage.
4. Please do not complete repairs until we have the opportunity to inspect the damage.
5. Standard Document Requirements;
• Completed claim form
• Repair estimate confirming cause of damage
• Repair/Replacement estimates for any other resulting damage. e.g. Decoration,
6. Keep in mind that your insurance policy is not a maintenance contract.Normal wear and tear is not covered under your policy.
Key Contact Numbers - Emergency Helpline
RSA policyholders can contact our 24 hour Emergency Helpline numbers:
Motor: 1890 92 42 28
Home: 01 832 8756