Every 35 seconds, someone chooses MORE THAN ^

Every 35 seconds, someone chooses MORE THAN ^

Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Preparing your home for a storm

  • 31, May 2023
  • Read time: 10 mins

In the UK, most home insurance claims caused by bad weather are made in the first 3 months of the year.

Our weather can be unpredictable, so preparing your home in advance can be critical. In this useful guide, we’ll share what you can do to get your home ready for storm season, including what to do before, during and after.

heavy rain on roof

What is a storm? 

Storms are characterised by strong winds, rain, thunder, lightning and occasionally snow, sleet or hail. They can cause damage to buildings, disrupt transportation and communication systems, and even endanger the lives of people and animals.

In the UK, storms are no stranger and often cause substantial and expensive damage.

The Beaufort scale is used to measure wind intensity based on observed sea conditions. There are a total of 12 levels of severity (with 12 being the highest).

In the UK, we name storms that are likely to affect cities and towns across the country. This is to ensure better communication through the media and government agencies.

How to protect your home against storm damage

Prepare for a storm by protecting your home with our 8 top tips:

1. Get cover for storm damage

Make sure you consider your home insurance options before winter, especially if you live in an area particularly affected by storms or extreme weather, such as flooding or snowfall.

If you already have a MORE THAN policy, you can go to the policy wording section on the existing customer page to check your cover level.

2. Clear branches and trim trees

Pruning or cutting back your trees is essential when a storm is on the way. Branches can break off and cause significant damage to your home or belongings.

Check for frail areas and cut anything that you don’t think will survive a storm. Enlist the help of a specialist if you’re unsure or if the tree is too tricky or large to manage.

3. Check and secure fences and other outdoor objects

Fences can really take a hit during a storm so make sure they’re repaired or strengthened in advance. In warmer weather you can apply fence preservative. Minor damage can be patched up with wood and nails at any time.

Clear weeds and rubbish and make sure there’s adequate drainage. If the base gets waterlogged, any wooden posts can rot.

4. Put away or secure outside furniture

Large items such as furniture and trampolines must be secured, either tied down or taken inside. Do not use heavy items to weigh them down as this can be dangerous.

Bring in small items such as plant pots, lights and ornaments, and securely cover anything that could be damaged by heavy rainfall or hail.

5. Check your roof and skylights

Check your roof ahead of storm season as spotting issues before they become problematic can save you time, stress and money.

Check the following:

  • Look inside and outside where the walls and ceiling connect for signs of leakage, such as cracks, openings or missing mortar
  • Ensure there are no missing or cracked tiles on your roof
  • Look at the seals and joints around skylights and roof windows to check for gaps or deterioration

If you’re unsure or can’t get access safely to your roof, it might be worth enlisting the help of a roof specialist.

6. Check your chimney

It can be common for there to be weak spots around your chimney and vents, so make sure to check in and around these. Things to look for include general wear and tear, gaps or cracks in seals and joints and signs of damp.

Checking your chimney can be dangerous, so look at getting professional help if you're not sure on how to do it safely.

7. Check your gutters and drains

Leaf fall and moss build-up can cause blockages to your gutters and drains at any time, so maintain them year-round and check them before a storm. You also need to check the joints to make sure they’re strong and that there are no cracks or leaks.

Any damage needs to be repaired straight away. If left unrepaired it can cause further harm, such as weakened walls, water damage inside your home, and general roof failure.

8. Lock your car away (or park out of harm's way)

If you have a garage or car port, keep your car there for the duration of the storm. If your car will be outside, park it away from trees, unstable fences, loose items (such as garden furniture), or any unstable streetlights or poles.

To help protect your car, and others, you should also take in or secure your rubbish and recycling bins.

What to do during a storm

A severe storm outside can be stressful and scary. Make sure you’re prepared in advance to ease any anxiety and make the experience more comfortable for you and your family:

Keep an emergency kit to hand

An emergency kit is useful during a severe storm when you can’t go outside. You’ll need to consider all eventualities, such as your electric supply cutting out, or your phone dying.

Some items to have to hand include:

  • Useful contact numbers: a paper list is handy if your mobile runs out of battery
  • Phone charger and battery pack: make sure the battery pack is fully charged and you have the required cables
  • Torch: a headtorch is handy for bathroom trips if the lights cut out
  • Candles, matches and lighters: keep your room usable and light
  • Food and drink: make sure it doesn’t require heating or cooking
  • Warm clothing and layers: to keep you warm if the heating cuts out
  • Buckets and bowls: to catch any surprise leaks

Make it fun if you can, have some activities to keep the family entertained – a pack of cards, boardgames, colouring in or books.

In case of flooding

If your home is prone to flooding, properly filled and placed sandbags can reduce water damage by diverting moving water around your building. Use buckets and bowls to tip out any water that has worked its way in, and to catch any leaks.

We recommend you sign up to flood alerts from the Environment Agency, you can also use their site to track the progress of a storm.

If you live in an area prone to flooding, MORE THAN can normally offer insurance with the support of the Flood Re scheme. Contact us if you wish to discuss your arrangements.

What to do after a storm

The storm has passed, and now you’re checking for any damage to your home. We’ve put together some tips on what to check and how:

Check for any damage

Think about carefully and safely checking your home and belongings for any damage that may have been caused by a storm. This can include:

Make a note of any damage, and think about whether it’s something you need to submit a home insurance claim for. 

Some of these checks could be dangerous. If you’re unsure, enlist the help of a trade specialist who can survey damage in detail and give professional advice.

Follow up promptly

If you spot any damage to your home, it’s best to start your claim straight away and get the process started.

MORE THAN's Home Insurance includes home emergency cover, which covers you up to £200 for certain eventualities, 24/7 phone support, plus a fast call out from a MORE THAN authorised tradesperson*.

If you are already a MORE THAN customer you can get in touch to discuss any concerns about your home or contents.

*Must use a MORE THAN authorised tradesperson. Home emergency assistance is not available for the first 7 days after the policy is taken out. A MORE THAN authorised tradesperson arrived within 4 hours of customers calling in 77% of cases. MORE THAN data from February 2022 to January 2023.

Protect your home with insurance

We can’t control the weather, but we can be prepared for adverse conditions. Storm damage can be costly to fix, so follow our top tips to keep your home and belongings in better shape this storm season.

Home insurance could help you with the costs of repairing storm damage.

Learn more about our home insurance

Share it with your friends