Property damage doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas and there are perhaps some reasons to claim on your home or office insurance that are more likely over the festive season. Aspray’s home and commercial property insurance claims management service is always in full swing over Christmas and New Year and here are some of the causes of the claims we attend and what you can do about them.
1) Washing machine/dishwasher floods
Your washing machine and dishwasher can be in overdrive around Christmas, making it more likely for you to suffer a flood from one of these appliances, due to a faulty seal, door latch, drain pump, hose leak, or another defect. With 30 gallons of water typically required for a washing machine batch, that’s a lot of water that can seep into the room.
If disaster strikes, turn off the water valve or water supply, to limit the damage as much as possible. Mop up or pump out as much water as you can and remember that washing machine water may contain bacteria, so even if you don’t need to make an insurance claim, you may need to disinfect areas that were affected once you’ve dealt with the flood.
If the damage is more than just a little puddle, you can call Aspray on 0800 077 6705, to get expert help as they do all they can, whether that is bringing in someone to pump out water and or installing dehumidifiers. An Aspray loss assessor will be on your side in the negotiations with your insurer, working to try to ensure you are not short-changed. And the cost of Aspray’s service? You’d be surprised to find that there need not be one, provided Aspray project manager their appointed, vetted contractors, to complete the reinstatement works.
2) Storm damage and your insurance claim
Gales and strong winds may wreak havoc with the structure of your property, including its roof, external pipework, walls, windows and more. Once the weather calms a little, and preferably not in the dark, if it is safe to do so, try to assess what damage has occurred, taking care to avoid any shards of glass and staying well clear of unstable structures.
Call in your Aspray loss assessor at the same time as notifying your insurer of your loss and it makes sense to have someone with you, whenever the insurer’s representative comes to assess your damage.
3) Flood damage and your insurance claim
Flooding at Christmas happens somewhere in the UK nearly every year – just at a time when dealing with the consequences are hardest. If it happens to you, you should seek to minimise your loss, by moving as much as you can upstairs and out of harm’s way. Taking photos of damaged items is important and, whilst you have a camera in hand, make sure you also highlight how far up the walls the flood water rose.
Once water recedes, you may need to take up carpet, to enable floors to dry out, but make sure that it is safe to do so and that you wear suitable protective equipment, as flood water can contain sewage and bacteria. Do not throw anything out without checking with your insurer first and, even then, take pictures to highlight its state.
Calling an Aspray loss assessor as soon as you can, will help you understand the measures you need to take and the evidence you need to keep, whilst also giving you all the experienced claims management support you need, bearing in mind that the structure of your home may well have been affected.
4) Burst pipes and your insurance claim
Christmas temperatures can plummet below freezing and any unlagged pipework can be the victim. If water in a pipe freezes, it can expand and crack the pipe, which is not an issue until a thaw comes and the water starts to run out of the crack. If you are not in the property at the time, the resulting water damage can be devastating. If you are in the property, you should turn off the water supply and notify your insurer, remembering that they may send their claims negotiator but, if you want your own adviser, you need to instruct one. If you call Aspray, on 0800 077 6705, you can have someone assist you.
5) Water leaks
It’s just the way of the world sometimes that a water leak will only manifest itself over the festive holiday period, when getting tradespeople to help you is really tough. Again, if you spot a household leak, try to minimise the damage, turning off the water or isolating a radiator, if that’s the problem, if you are able. Try to trace the source of the leak. If you can’t do that, Aspray works with experts who can. Either way, you may have a claim to negotiate, to get your property back to how it was before the leak. Do you want to leave it to your insurer to pay you what they are willing to pay, or do you want to know if that’s a satisfactory amount to cover the work you really should have done? If it’s the latter, you should call Aspray on 0800 077 6705 and let us negotiate your claim for you. If we can instruct our trusted tradespeople to handle your repairs, our service will not cost you anything, other than the excess that you agreed with your insurer when you bought your insurance policy.
6) A vehicle ends up in your front room!
Wintery driving conditions – and festive drinking – can both lead to you having unexpected guests for Christmas dinner, if a vehicle leaves the road and ends up crashing through a window or wall. Should this type of property impact occur, you will probably need some expert help, as knowing what the structural damage may be will require expert surveys. This is an area in which insurance ‘cost containment’ may operate and, if it’s your property, you don’t want costs contained. What you do want is a fair property reinstatement. That’s Aspray’s realm, so call us on 0800 077 6705.
Of course, Aspray is for everyday life and not just for Christmas, so if property damage occurs at any other time of year, we are just as able to help.