Winter downpour made water fall between building constructions[Dagmar Gilden | 03.04]
Usually the most common home insurance loss during wintertime is the damage caused by overheating and snow melting, but last winter downpour was the root of evil.
“Although the snow stayed in the sky last winter, the weather surprised us with many downpours and the stormy wind enabled the rainwater to reach inside houses through roofs, window edges and skylight windows, and cause damage there. Last year the proportion of these damages increased by 15% compared to the year before. As the water managed to cause wider damages, the indemnification amount increased by almost 50%,” said Dagmar Gilden, Home Insurance Product Manager at Seesam Insurance.
According to the insurer, water pressing through constructions can cause much damage, especially if the problematic spots caused by first rainfalls should remain invisible to the homeowner. The largest damage caused by the joint force of rain and winter reached even 15,000 euros and the indemnity payment up to 11,000 euros. In both instances, the rainwater leaked to such an extent that the ceilings, walls as well as floors were damaged. In comparison, the storm damages that caused an avalanche of loss events last winter reached up to 3000 euros.
“The extent of losses caused by rainfall is significantly influenced by the price and quality of the materials used as well as how much the rainwater has earlier caused damage between ceilings and walls without the homeowner knowing it. As with the damages arising from snow melting or rainfall are usually construction errors or the building is already old and worn, many insurers don’t provide coverage for such losses. At Seesam it is possible, but you have to consider a bigger price, and the state of the object is very carefully examined during the insurance process. To homes with previous similar leakages we cannot offer insurance cover. If we do this, it is only on the condition that the earlier damages have been eliminated,” Gilden clarified.
As prevention and discovering the damage in a timely manner are cheaper and cause less trouble than repair work, the insurer advises you to inspect your summer cottage or country house after more significant weather changes. Strong winds and rainfall might have caused lots of trouble there, for example raised the roof and opened a passage for water to leak in.
“But when a person discovers mould in the wall or ceiling, one should immediately examine what is causing it. Unfortunately we often witness in our work how people try to take the easy way out and cover mould with paint, but the damage caused by the mould increases at the same time. You should quickly find the place where water can leak in and close it. Otherwise the water may start rotting wooden constructions and the resulting mould can severely damage your health,” Gilden warned.