Insurance company says get ready for winter

AA Ireland Home Insurance is reminding second home owners to double and triple check their properties are fully secured for the winter as they return home this bank holiday Monday. As the last bank holiday of 2010 draws to a close and temperatures begin to drop, AA Home insurance is advising holiday home owners to do a quick once over before they lock up.

“As obvious as it all sounds, do a quick check list before you leave. Have you turned off your cooker, taps, lights and so on? Think of the havoc an overflowing sink could wreak if undetected for several months” says John Farrell, AA Ireland Director of Insurance.”

“Across the board, all homeowners, be it their principal or second home, should take precautions now to protect their property against winter weather.” Says Farrell. During the big freeze of December and January last, the Irish Insurance Industry received more than 19,000 claims from households relating to frozen pipes at a cost of close to €250 million. The November 09 floods resulted in a further 4,600 claims from private households at a cost of more than €75 million. “These events have an inevitable inflationary effect on premiums so it’s important for everyone to play a part in reducing their impact.” Says Farrell.

“Our advice to homeowners is to ensure that exposed pipes are properly lagged with an insulating sleeve. If you’re away from your property when the weather gets really freezing don’t be shy in asking your neighbors to pop over and check if your property is OK.” Advises Farrell.

“Home owners should know what their responsibilities are and be clear of the terms and conditions of your home insurance policy. It’s important to know the difference between general wear and tear, much of which can be prevented and unforeseen insured events.”

“A classic example of an autumn/winter maintenance issue is overflowing gutters. All too often homeowners forget to unclog them of dead leaves and other debris. During heavy rainfall blocked gutters will overflow and may damage the roof.” Says Farrell.

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