Autumn is finally here!

The clocks have changed and we’re now getting a taste of the type of weather we can usually expect at this time of year.

Last November, I was sent a photograph of the magnificent 30 ft tree and flattened building belonging to a client, which had come down as a consequence of very high winds, the type of extreme weather which appears to be becoming more common. Only a week later, a large branch of a tree came down across a friend’s very expensive car – luckily when she wasn’t in it.

And while we’re on the subject of trees …..

trees_downThe ability to claim on your insurance policy for damage as a result of fallen trees can vary considerably depending on the circumstances.

For instance:

If the tree falls onto a house or outbuilding the cost of removing the tree off the building is covered but not having the tree taken away;

A tree falling onto your fence would be determined as impact damage and not storm damage and would be covered;

Should a tree fall into your garden you cannot make a claim;

And if a tree falls from your neighbour’s garden you may find you cannot claim from your policy or your neighbours!

Fences, gates and hedges

Now would also be a very good time to check the condition of your boundary fences, walls and trees, as unfortunately insurance policies have restrictions on damage caused by and to these.

For instance, you can’t claim for storm damage to any of your fences, gates, hedges or electronically controlled gates, and that loose fence panel you’ve been meaning to repair could end up causing damage to something else if left so now’s the time to get those jobs done.

Anything else?

autumnIt is also worth giving some thought to when you last had the condition of your chimney/s checked? Chimneys are exposed to the elements and receive the full force of any adverse weather such as wind, rain, snow and frost. Many people have their aerials attached to the chimney and their fixings can rust with age. Toppling chimneys and aerials can result in damage to property or injuries to passers by.

Prevention is most definitely the watch word–just make a few checks and you can then sit back and relax and enjoy the beautiful colours of autumn.

NB The Claims Line telephone number can be found in your policy and is always useful to keep alongside your other emergency numbers.