With winter fast approaching, home owners are flocking to secure insurance for their properties. It’s no hidden fact that catastrophes can cause unexpected damage to all areas of your home – and insurance is one of the only ways to cover yourself against unexpected damage.
Sure, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the chance of the weather getting the better of your home, but sometimes, as unfortunate as it is, Mother Nature can’t be helped nor stopped. However, as long as you do your best, you can reduce the likelihood of having to claim, thus keeping your premium low for years to come.
It’s a known fact that winter can inflict damage on your house in more ways than one – whether it be burglaries due to the lower light levels, or cold weather wreaking havoc with your heating system or piping. This often results in unpredictability across the board, which in turn results in changes to the overall price of Home Insurance. This is mainly due to different companies having to pay out varying amounts for an array of different claims. Insurance companies will often base premiums on their experience of previous policies resulting in claims around the winter months. Subsequently, the pricing will increase or decrease to make sure that company involved would lose as little money as possible if they end up paying out, whilst remaining competitive.
Why Home Insurance Prices Rise in Winter
One of the main reasons for Home Insurance prices rising around this time of year, is burglaries, which have been known to increase by 20% in winter months. This can mainly be attributed to the fact that an earlier sunset, which brings longer nights for all of us, means that burglars have the added cover of darkness on their side. Known tactics of a burglar’s mind-set include such methods as forcing a window frame open, rather than smashing the window itself, to make as little noise as possible, and leave little physical damage, while still gaining entry. Despite a usual lack of evidence or excessive damage, the average burglary around winter-time is reported to cost £1,746, which is more than enough of a hole in anybody’s budget, especially with Christmas and New Year in close proximity.
However, October the 1st marks the start of National Home Security Month, which is a nation-wide campaign looking at the numerous characteristics of home security and how you can apply these to your own home. When looking at keeping the price of your home insurance down, it’s definitely not any recognised or certified method that you can announce to your insurer, however it can provide the peace of mind that we could all do with.
The other contributing factor to the rise in Home Insurance prices is the winter weather itself. Dropping temperatures, increased wind speeds, and higher chance of rainfall all mix together for some treacherous conditions – even from your home’s standpoint. Some of the most common issues that occur include blockage of drains and gutters by leaves and twigs that then freeze over, or burst pipes due to the changing temperatures caused by the hot water flowing through.
Check Your Roof to Prepare For the Future
Something interesting to take a closer look at is your roof. Checking any flashing and tiles for any cracks or holes, or even missing tiles altogether is essential. If any water damage is caused due to these damaged or missing tiles and flashes, it could hurt you in the long run, as in many cases, it has been known for insurance companies to decline a claim made for water damage, based on the neglect of the house’s roof by the owner. It’s not a huge job to check, so it’s definitely on the list of things worth doing, just to be sure.
Flooding is one of those unstoppable occurrences in life that you just have to accept is happening. Not a great deal can stop a flood – unless you have some form of purpose-built defence in effect – and the damage they can cause is nothing short of catastrophic. If you end up in a situation where you have no home insurance, and a flood hits, there isn’t a lot that can be done for your home or your possessions. As you can appreciate, floods don’t just invade your home, they damage anything on the ground, whether it be furniture, carpets, electrical appliances, plug sockets, ornaments, toys, you name it. With the option to cover specific items and contents on your home insurance, regardless how sentimental, it makes no sense not to have everything covered for your own sake.
Don’t Forget – Protect Your Garden Too
With the usual list of “ways to make your home winter-proof” comes some weird and wonderful methods of protecting even your garden from the winter’s wrath. Using cat litter as grit to clear your paths and drive of ice has become a popular approach, as salt can kill your plants and foliage over time, whereas cat litter does not. Even if you have a fish pond, you can easily protect it when the pond freezes over. All you have to do is simply place a tennis ball in it, and whenever the pond freezes over, simply pull the tennis ball out, and it will create a hole for oxygen to circulate back in to the pond, thus ensuring the survival of your fish.
All of the aforementioned aspects should help prevent any need for you to make a claim on your home insurance, and in the long run, that should keep your price down, as any company you’re with shall see that you are doing your best to not let winter get the better of you and your home. However, it is not a definite guarantee, as all insurance companies are different in the way that they rate certain areas of a policy.
Charlie Draycott is a devoted gamer who has a passion for finance and economics, especially the insurance sector. When he isn’t working for One Sure Insurance, you can find him playing video games.