Follow these tips to help prepare for high winds and freezing temperatures this winter.
When strong winds are forecast:
What you should do after a storm:
A burst pipe in your attic, if unaddressed, can be as devastating as a flood through the front door. It probably represents the greatest risk posed to your home by freezing conditions. Freeze thaw action can also cause structural damage.
How to prepare for the freeze:
In the event of a burst pipe:
In the event of a leak:
Frost damage is one of the risks of property ownership that many people overlook. Of course, if your property is well constructed and you live in a temperate climate, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. But even so, the last few winters in Ireland have been especially harsh with more and more incidences of frost damage occurring. So what should you do if your property suffers from frost damage?
The most detrimental side effect of frost damage is burst water pipes, especially underground pipes. Not only can this lead to further problems such as high water bills, but there is no way of telling where the burst is or how bad it is without the help of some expert professionals, so it pays to be prepared. As a preventative measure, you should ensure that your property is adequately insulated, especially the roof. You should also consider insulating the walls.
In the event of frost damage, it is vital that you turn off all taps completely, as drips can freeze and block the pipe, adding further hold-ups and possibly damage. Also ensure that all stop taps and valves have been switched off or closed. Next, you should thaw any exposed pipes by placing a cloth soaked in hot water over them, or alternatively, a filled hot water bottle. Do your best to keep the property warm; use electric heaters if you have reason to believe your heating pipes may be damaged from the frost also (although this is unlikely if the heating been used recently).
The next step is to contact an underground leak detection professional who can search for any inaccessible pipe damage. At this point, you should also contact a loss assessor who will visit the property, gather records and make an inventory of damage, estimating the amount of losses as a result. Once the loss assessor’s survey is complete, you can submit an insurance claim and commence repair works; however, be sure to keep records of what repairs are carried out and all details about them, as this will aid your claim.
Once any damage has been repaired and your insurance claim has been processed, it is worth investing in pipe insulation to avoid a repeat occurrence. This is best done after the adverse weather has improved so it can be completed without delay and will not have any further impact on your property.
An escape of water below ground usually comes in the form of burst pipes or damaged plumbing systems which cause damage to properties either by water seeping into the building from below, or in less severe cases, by affecting water pressure and flow in the plumbing system of the property.
In both cases, if the problem is left unnoticed or unfixed in the long term, significant damage can occur. If such an incident occurs, here is some advice on how to handle the situation:
In cases where below ground escape of water has been occurring for years, subsidence can be a problem. This is when the soil under the property’s foundations has become unstable due to water washing away the soil particles. As a result, the foundations of the building begin to subside. A thorough check on this should be carried out in any significant case of escape of water below ground.
The Office of Public Works recently published a guide to restoring your home or business from the recent floods in Ireland. We suppose that almost a month after the disaster the initial restoring works like cleaning are already done, but if you still struggle with the longest process of all – drying you place, then we can help you. Here is a short guide to how to deal with remaining water or moisture in your home or business building.
Air circulation is the best way to dry out a property and clear the air inside. Be patient and make sure the property is completely dry before you move back in.
Some Do’s and Don’ts:
Drying the property:
If you haven’t still contacted you insurance company for a claim settlement, you can always first refer to an expert loss assessors company like Clearys Loss Assessors. Hence, you might get an additional advice and guidance for obtaining a better settlement.
The storms last night in Lahinch and Salthill in Galway have left homes and businesses in ruins. It will take some time to estimate the damage.
Clearys Loss Assessors can assist you with any claim that you may have in relation to property damage, structural or flood.
Call our office today on 1850 28 1850
At the end of October 2013 the Central bank of Ireland published a report with findings of a themed inspection into household property claims resulting from water damage.Given the increased frequency of floods in recent years the Central bank considered it important to make an inspection of the compliance with the Consumer Protection Code (the Code) between 1 July and 31 December 2012 in 10 of Ireland’s largest non-life insurer’s (approximately 90% of the Irish property insurance market).
With regard to this inspection the Director of Consumer Protection, Bernard Sheridan said that the Central Bank expects all regulated insurers to work in the consumer’s best interest by selling suitable insurance policies, providing clear information and handling claims properly when they arise, directly or through a third party such as a loss adjuster. He expressed concern by the findings of this inspection which show a lack of transparency around the claims retention policy and policy terms that consumers need to be aware of at time of purchase and when making a claim. The Central bank considers that policy booklets contained a number of terms and conditions which may not be fair or transparent to consumers.”Consumers can often feel vulnerable when they experience damage to their home and that it is important that firms deal with their claims in a prompt and fair way. ” said also Mr. Sheridan.
One of the most important findings from the review were that most common reasons for insurers declining claims were either no insured peril or wear and tear that had occurred to their property, e.g. the sealant on a shower tray having fractured over time. It was also noted that many consumers had withdrawn their claim on learning that an excess of up to €1,000 would be deducted from any claim settlement offer, as well as the impact that the loss of no claims bonus would have on future renewal premiums.
The Central Bank also considered that insurers’ policy booklets contained a number of terms and conditions which may not be fair or transparent to consumers, and therefore insurers have been requested to review aspects of their respective policy booklets. Examples of the terms that insurers were asked to review include references to policy excess amounts or administrative fees without actually stating how much these are or where the consumer can find this information and failure to include information about retaining a portion of the settlement until after reinstatement will be a condition of the claims settlement agreement.
A review of insurers’ policy booklets revealed that only one of the insurers clearly describes the practice of retentions in its policy booklet. All of the insurers have a practice whereby a retention amount may be applied to a claim settlement offer and typically the retention withheld would be between 20% and 30% of the settlement amount. In order for a retention amount to be paid, consumers are required to provide either receipts, invoices or other proof that the repairs have been fully completed. The Central Bank noted that 23% of the monetary amount of all household property (water damage) claim retentions applied by the 7 inspected insurers during 2012 were never claimed by the consumer.
What Clearys advises you is to always read very well your insurance policy and in case you have any doubts or ambiguity, do not hesitate to contact a loss assessor.
Government statistics show that electricity causes more than 20,000 fires a year – almost half of all accidental UK house fires. Each year, about 70 people are killed and 350,000 are seriously injured due to an electrical accident in the home. Although many incidents are caused by faulty appliances rather that the electrical installation itself, a properly-installed and well-maintained installation could significantly reduce the possibility of an accident or injury. So, it is important that any electrical installation work is carried out only by people who are competent. This means people who have the knowledge, skills and experience needed to avoid dangers to themselves and others that electricity can create. It’s easy to make an electrical circuit work – it’s far harder to make the circuit work safely.
How old is your wiring?
Electricity is usually out of sight, out of mind because cables are conveniently hidden inside our walls and switches and sockets. So it’s not surprising that we forget to check our electrical installations for wear and tear. Faulty and aging wiring is one of the major causes of electrical fires in the home. You can avoid these by having regular checks carried out on the condition of your cables, switches, sockets and other accessories. There are clear signs that can help you tell the age of electrical installation in your home. These are:
This article is from the Independent newspaper on Tuesday 22nd April, 2013 and shows how policyholders are shortchanged by Insurance Companies.
Contact Clearys on 1850 28 1850 is you feel you need help with your insurance claim.
This was a major loss as a result of a fire. There was a total loss of the building and significant damage to stock, fixtures, fittings and vehicles. The fire was caused by an electrical fault whilst one of the vehicle batteries was being charged.
As a result there were issues over proof of ownership and insurable interest. The insured was a private person (& sole trader) whose company (recently dissolved) was not mentioned in the cover. Some items of stock, fixtures and fittings had been purchased through the limited company. Insureres argued that these items were not insured by the policy as they were purchased through the limited company and not subsequently transferred to the ownership of the insured.
Clearys Loss Assessors, with offices throughout Ireland, argued that, as the Limited Company was dissolved, the assets were transferable to the Insured’s name. This was proven by way of various items of documentation and ultimately ownership was agreed upon and this claim was settled. This claim proved difficult and negotiations were protracted due to the issue of insurable interest and insurer’s desire and effort to avoid liability despite the fact that all this property and the company itself were owned by the insured and clearly in his total control and possession as reflected in his financial accounts.