The storms and severe weather which have rocked the UK and brought strong winds along with heavy rain to many regions across the country are expected to cost around £425 million in home insurance claims, it has been estimated. 
With hundreds of homes flooded up and down the country, PwC, the business consultancy giant, predicts that damage to property, cars and businesses from Storm Dennis alone in February 2020 could cost insurance firms up to £225 million in claims. 

With hundreds of homes flooded up and down the country, PwC, the business consultancy giant, predicts that damage to property, cars and businesses from Storm Dennis alone in February 2020 could cost insurance firms up to £225 million in claims. 

PwC’s general insurance leader, Mohammed Khan, stated that there has been a great deal more flood damage to property from Storm Dennis compared to the previous storm which hit the UK, Storm Ciara. In contrast, Storm Ciara, which made its way across Britain on the 2nd February 2020, mainly brought strong winds, which caused the bulk of the damage to homes and property. 

The current concern for a large number of homeowners, such as buy to let landlords, is that this continued rainfall could lead to an increased risk of flooding. This is also bad news for home insurance providers.

Keith Pearlman, who is a partner at DMH Stallard, a city law firm, explains that this horrific weather continues to cause damage and devastation to businesses and homes. An expert in disputes focused around property, he commented that there is also the awful prospect that more storms could ravage the UK in both the long and shorter term. 

Mr Pearlman advises that for those that have been affected or had their property or homes damaged by these torrential downpours, contact should be made immediately with insurance providers in order to check if their belongings and furniture are fully covered by their insurance policy, and if they themselves could be rehoused in their current situation, in the most serious cases of flooding to residential properties.

Firstly, he advises buy to let landlords and homeowners to take detailed photos of all the damage inflicted to the property, in order to collate all the evidence for claiming against their insurance policy. It is wise to photograph each individual item which is damaged, and keep thorough and detailed records of the ongoing expenditure. Mr Pearlman advises that keeping a diary of events relating to the claims for damage will prove crucial in the forthcoming weeks. 

In a similar way, inventory reports can prove vital in proving that damage has been inflicted to a rental home by the tenant. Innovations in proptech, such as a letting inventory app, ensure that inventories are thoroughly and professionally compiled, while reducing the likelihood of disputes with tenants. It is always recommended that an inventory report is created, which is signed by each party involved in the tenancy agreement, which will include the tenant and landlord, on the date in which the tenants move into the property. It is crucial that the inventory report is completed before the tenant moves their belongings into the home, and it should also be signed on the move in date.

In addition to this, deposits which are taken by all landlords must be registered under a government-approved scheme, which gives tenants the right to dispute any deduction a landlord makes to their deposit sum. The landlord must also protect their investment by providing proof, in the form of an inventory report, of the property’s initial condition at the beginning of the tenancy, and again at the end of the tenancy. An inventory report could be completed manually by the landlord themselves, or by using property management or inventory software, which streamlines the process. A landlord could also choose to hire an inventory clerk, which ensures that the entire process is conducted professionally and on unbiased terms.

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