Businesses advised to act now to prepare for winter storms

Stuart Torrance (head of the in-house claims team at H&H Insurance Brokers) is advising businesses to prepare ahead of winter storms

One year on from the devastation caused by Storm Arwen, businesses and homeowners are being urged to act now to prepare for storms this winter.

More than a million homes lost power and thousands of trees were uprooted during the storm last November which brought severe winds of almost 100 mph. Tragically three people died when they were hit by falling trees.

On the first anniversary of Storm Arwen, Stuart Torrance, from independent insurance brokers, H&H Insurance Brokers, said staying safe, being alert and getting prepared should be top priorities for people ahead of winter storms.

He said: “Storm Arwen was one of the most powerful and damaging storms of the last decade.

“Ultimately, when a storm hits, the most important thing is to stay safe but you can take precautions ahead of time to reduce the potential damage to your home or business. 

“This can include keeping on top of maintenance such as securing any loose fence panels or gates and removing loose or overhanging branches on your property. If there’s a storm on its way, then make sure you’ve secured any garden furniture, trampolines or anything else which could be blown away, and park vehicles in a safe space, either in a garage or building, and away from fences, trees and walls which could fall on them. 

“Keep up-to-date with the weather warnings and have a plan in place in case the worst does happen such as having an emergency pack ready with a torch, medicines and important documents, and making sure your mobile phone is fully charged.”

Storm Arwen, which struck the UK on November 26 and 27, 2021, was the busiest day in the history of H&H Insurance Brokers, leading to a total of 130 related claims, with a combined value of more than £1 million. This compares to the firm’s usual daily average of four or five new claims.

Stuart, who leads H&H Insurance Brokers’ in-house claims team, said: “As a team, we were able to react quickly to this unprecedented event to make sure claims were dealt with quickly and efficiently so our clients’ experienced minimal disruption.

“The damage caused by Storm Arwen was extensive, from strong winds ripping panels off farm buildings to falling trees damaging vehicles and homes. It was a difficult time for many people and our job is to help them get back to normal as quickly as possible.

“If you are affected by storm damage this winter and need to make a claim, then there are steps you can follow to make the process easier.

“Once it’s safe to do so, gather together essential information including taking photographs of the damage and making a note of the extent of it. If you have more than one property, then record which premises are affected and where.

“Contact your insurance broker as soon as possible to report any damage. They will have years of experience dealing with extreme weather events and will guide you through the process step-by-step.”

H&H Insurance Brokers, which has its head office in Carlisle, operates across the North of England, the Scottish Borders and Wales, and arranges a broad portfolio of business insurance across sectors such as farming and agriculture, tourism and hospitality, construction and all types of rural businesses.

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