How to prepare your home for a storm

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A stormy sky over a house

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin caused damage worth roughly £500 million in the UK in 2022, with 177,000 claims arising for affected homes, vehicles and businesses. [1]

To avoid last-minute panics and potentially invalidating your home insurance, we recommend weather-proofing your home to protect it from future storms. Below we share our advice on how to do this.

What’s a storm?

Insurance providers normally have a specific definition of a storm. 

We define a storm as weather that has:

●    wind with gusts of at least 48 knots (55mph)

●    heavy rainfall at a rate of at least 25mm per hour

●    snow to a depth of at least 30cm in 24 hours

●    hail that can cause damage to hard surfaces or break glass

How to check if a storm is coming

In the UK, we name storms to help alert the public and generate awareness.

You can also check any weather warnings issued by the Met Office either on their website or through their Twitter account.

Preparing your home for a storm

Here are some steps to help protect your home from an incoming storm.

Close all windows and doors

Close and fasten all windows, skylights and doors to stop rain from getting in. This also helps prevent any panicked pets from escaping. 

Check the roof

You should check your roof regularly as part of general home maintenance. However, it’s particularly important to check for and fix any missing, loose or damaged tiles before a storm. 

If you don’t feel comfortable fixing any damage yourself, hire a reputable professional. 

It’s important to remember that damage to your roof that’s caused by general wear and tear will not be covered on your home insurance policy.

Check your pipes for leaks

We refer to leaking pipes as “escape of water”. Read more about escape of water here, and find out what preventative steps you can take to avoid water damage.

Keep gutters free

You can minimise the chances of clogged gutters by clearing them ahead of time. Gutters aren’t covered by home insurance if damaged due to poor maintenance. Find out how to clean your gutters here.

Secure outdoor furniture

To prevent damage to your outdoor items and your home, secure furniture in advance.

If possible, it’s safest to store them in your shed or an outbuilding. Don’t forget other loose items, like rubbish bins. 

Read our guide to garden security and home insurance here.

Secure your fence

Most home insurance policies, including ours, don't cover fencing or hedges, so you won’t be able to make a claim if a storm damages them. We recommend fixing all panels securely in place and checking your gate is in working order and closed. 

Clear branches

Branches can easily snap or break off and cause damage during strong winds, so prune any trees on your property in advance. 

You should hire a professional tree surgeon if you have big trees or can't do this yourself. 

Park your car safely

Park your car in a safe place, such as a garage. Avoid parking underneath trees, tiles or anything that can become loose debris in the wind. 

Preparing a home emergency kit

We recommend putting together a home emergency kit in advance in case there are power cuts or any other domestic emergencies. Keep it somewhere accessible. 

It should contain, at least:

●    a torch

●    spare batteries

●    a first-aid kit, including any medication that you or your family may need to take

●    warm clothes

●    important documents

●    a portable charger

What to do if a storm damages your home

If your home has been damaged during a storm, check your policy documents in MyAccount to make sure you’re covered before making a claim. You should also check your excess limits.

If you have Home Emergency Extra cover, you may be covered for a temporary repair. 

What's Home Emergency Extra cover?

Home Emergency Extra cover comes as standard in our Platinum Home Insurance policies, and can be added to the Admiral and Gold tiers too. 

It provides temporary repairs following unexpected incidents in your home, like total failure to your boiler or heating. 

In storms or bad weather, it can cover for roof damage or damage to your doors or locks if your home becomes unsecure. 

However, to get cover, you must report incidents to us within 48 hours of discovery and, in storms, it must fit our storm definition. We define a storm as: 

  • wind with gusts of at least 55mph
  • heavy rainfall at a rate of at least 25mm per hour
  • snow to a depth of at least 30cm in 24 hours
  • hail that causes damage to hard surfaces or breaks glass

Home Emergency Extra cover customers, if eligible, can claim through our make a claim page or register one in MyAccount.

As a reminder, Home Emergency Extra cover is for claims that:

  • are reported within 48 hours of discovery
  • are for emergencies that are a total failure, meaning total loss of service
  • have uncontainable leaks
  • are for temporary repairs up to £1,000

Before calling, make sure you check your policy details and cover limits on MyAccount.

Find out more about what to do during a storm and what to check afterwards on our storm weather hub.


Flexible home insurance from Admiral