NFU Mutual says it’s preparing itself for a possible spike in claims as Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice sweep through the UK.
The rural insurer is concerned there could be yet more damage in regions already hit by Storms Malik and Corrie last month, and Storm Arwen late last year.
The previous storms resulted in more than 8,000 claims.
Storm Dudley is predicted to hit Moray at 6pm tonight, with high-speed likes of 60-90mph expected.
It will be followed on Friday by Storm Eunice.
However, this is expected to miss Moray, and instead hit areas further south.
NFU Mutual has mobilized its network of over 295 local agency offices to assist members whose property is damaged by the storms.
It is also sharing practical advice.
Jon Bird, NFU Mutual’s property claims manager, said: “While the weather is calm, there are some simple steps people can take to help protect their property beforehand.
“But we urge everyone to think first and foremost of their own and their family’s safety.
“Don’t underestimate these storms. Don’t attempt repairs if it is unsafe to do so. Don’t make journeys unless they are absolutely necessary.”
NFU Mutual’s advice for householders:
- Prune loose or overhanging tree branches
- Make sure gutters and roof tiles are secure if you can do this before the storms, but NEVER attempt repairs or maintenance during a storm.
- Secure garden furniture and clear out or put away items which cannot be secured.
- Prepare for power cuts. Have torches and batteries to hand and make sure any generators are ready to use if required.
- If you have one, park your car in the garage. If you do not have a garage, keep cars clear of walls, fences and trees as much as possible.
- Do not leave the house or take car journeys unless absolutely necessary.
- Plan any essential car journeys, checking tires, engine oil, coolant and screenwasher, as well as lights and battery. Keep a torch, blanket, warm clothing, sensitive footwear, a bottle of water and a chocolate bar or two in the car. If a car journey is absolutely necessary, drive slowly and carefully, staying aware of high winds on exposed roads and ice and water on the road.
- Have your insurer’s emergency helpline available.
- Check with neighbors to see if they need support.
- Keep all doors and windows closed.
- After the storm document and take pictures of any damage, as this could help your insurance claim.
- Report any damage as soon as possible.
- Do not enter any buildings which may be unsafe after a storm.
NFU Mutual’s advice for farmers:
- Plan evacuation routes to get staff and livestock to safety in the case of extreme weather such as floods – identify safer ground that you can move livestock to in event of flooding or snow
- Plan water and feed in advance and increase provisions for animals who may be unsafe to reach or become cut off during a storm.
- Check fences are intact and secure them if possible before the storm
- Be aware after a weather event, power cables or powerlines may have been brought down.
- After the storm, check field boundaries, as trees can bring down fences and may result in animals straying.
NFU Mutual’s advice for other commercial businesses:
- Make sure staff vehicles or company cars and vans are parked away from any trees and are in a safe area.
- Maintain contact with customers and employees.
- Move any stock which may be exposed to damage from the storm.
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