Purchasing a buy-to-let property is a major investment and one you want to make sure you protect. With the winter months upon us it’s important to make sure that your investment is adequately protected from the elements. Our specialist property insurance products will support you in the event of an incident but, at such a busy time of year, you really want to avoid any unnecessary stress over the festive period.
Here are some tips on how you can prepare your property for the looming sub-zero temperatures.
Make Sure Your Boiler is Serviced.
It may sound obvious, but make sure your boiler has recently been serviced by a Gas Safe engineer and is in full working order. It’s important that your boiler is serviced on a regular basis. The cost of having your boiler serviced is far less than footing the bill of a new boiler at Christmas time. Having your boiler on for a few hours each day will help to keep your pipes warm throughout the colder months.
Clear Out Your Gutters
Falling leaves can contribute to blocked drains and gutters, potentially causing water damage to the roof and walls of your property. Ensure that your gutters, overflow pipes and drains have been inspected by a qualified contractor and are cleared of any blockages. We would also recommend having your roof checked by a qualified roofing contractor for any cracked or missing slates, as this could also result in water ingress to your property.
Avoid Frozen Pipes
One of the most common causes of property damage during winter is frozen pipes, which can lead to a crack in the pipe and an eventual escape of water. There are various ways to help prevent this, such as keeping your boiler warm and checking visible pipes for any noticeable cracks. Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors also recommends that any external pipes are insulated to minimise heat loss and help prevent your pipes from freezing.
Your property may become empty during the festive period, so it’s important to review your insurance policy for any conditions that may apply. There could be a requirement to notify your insurer that the property will be empty, or your insurer may make requests such as keeping the central heating on at a certain temperature or switching the mains services off. If you are unsure, give Bruce Stevenson a call and we would be happy to review your policy. Failure to follow these conditions may result in a claim not being paid, leaving you out of pocket following a loss.
This is also a good opportunity to ensure that your existing policy is fit for purpose. Landlords should also ensure that they have specialist landlord’s insurance in place.
Speak to the Experts
The bottom line is that it’s better to be safe than sorry during the winter period. If you have any questions about your insurance policy or if you would like a no-obligation Landlord’s Insurance quote, get in touch with us and learn more about the specialist property insurance services we offer.
By Jamie McKenzie, Property Specialist and Account Executive