Did you know that windstorms are the second greatest cause of natural catastrophe insurance losses on the planet? And the UK is becoming more vulnerable to windstorms with changes in climate alongside its exposed geographical position.
An extreme recent case was ‘St Jude’s Day Storm’ in October 2013, where gusts of 70 and 80 mph winds travelled across southern England. What was the impact?
- 100’s of trees blown over, resulting in four deaths
- More than 660,000 homes left without power
- Gusts of up to 99mph winds recorded on Isle of Wight
- Widespread transport disruption including over 100 flights cancelled in the UK
All of this led to severe property damage and distribution.
What Can Be Done To Help Reduce The Risk To Your Property Before A Windstorm?
- Regularly inspect the roof or your property ensuring the roof sheathing is securely fitted
- Check any lose attachments are securely anchored to the building or roof – HVAC units, external signage, skylights, exhaust vents etc.
- Check building is well sealed to prevent uplifting winds getting into cracks and causing interior damage
- Check outside storage is securely anchored, or can be easily moved inside with issued windstorm forecasts
- Annually inspect trees which are in close proximity to buildings, to check that they are in safe condition. It is advised to hire an Arboricultural Association Registered Consultant to carry out any necessary work.
Prevention strategies will go some way to lower the risk of damage to your property during windstorms, but damage is still always possible. Therefore, always ensure that your commercial property insurance covers any property damage caused by a windstorm.