More than 1,000 insurance claims have been made by NFU Mutual members for damage related to recent severe weather.
Storm Malik and Storm Corrie brought strong winds across the north and north-east, resulting in extensive repairs being required on a number of properties.
The rural insurer has revealed its members have suffered damage, including bricks, chimneys and roof tiles being ripped from buildings due to the wind.
Others have had to deal with fallen trees and power lines causing power outages and damage to their homes, farms and other commercial buildings.
Property claims manager Jon Bird said: “This level of damage goes to show that no storm should be underestimated. As the UK’s leading insurer of the countryside, we know that rural homes and farms are often exposed to the worst of severe weather.
“That is why we mobilise our network of over 295 local agency offices nationwide ahead of any expected storm, so we are ready to care for our customers and communities when they need us most.
“During Storms Malik and Corrie, we arranged emergency payments, helped find emergency accommodation where needed, and have been working with over 1,000 customers to assess damage and arrange repairs as soon as possible.”
Still recovering from Storm Arwen
The two storms at the end of January came while many people were still recovering from the impact of Storm Arwen last year.
NFU Mutual received more than 7,000 claims following the severe storm two months ago, with many of the same people facing further damage from Storm Malik and Storm Corrie.
Mr Bird added: “Many of the claims following Storms Malik and Corrie have come from members who already suffered damage at the hands of Storm Arwen.
“Emergency repairs have needed to be repaired again and large swathes of north-east England and Scotland lost power once again.
“We recognise that members need ongoing support after a storm to progress repairs and prepare for future storms, and are sharing advice on how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your property during a storm.”
NFU Mutual has been working alongside various agencies to arrange loss adjuster and emergency payments for those affected by the “suddenness” of the storms.
Preparing for more bad weather
The insurance company has shared advice for homeowners and farmers in rural areas ahead of any future storms.
They say to plan ahead by having evacuation routes for staff and livestock planned out, as well as water, feed, torches and emergency generators in place.
Regular farm inspections are also important, including checking roofing, gutters and trees. Any necessary repairs should be carried out when the weather is calm.
During a storm, it is important to stay indoors and not attempt any emergency repairs.
Once the bad weather has passed, be aware of any powerlines that may have fallen, check field boundaries and do not enter unsafe buildings. Any damage should be reported to NFU Mutual as soon as possible.
Mr Bird added: “We keep an eye for severe weather so we can assist our members before the worst happens.
“Our agents live and work in the communities they serve, so they know which properties are at risk from severe weather and will do all they can to help customers prepare.
“We also work closely with agricultural specialist loss adjusters, so if you are unfortunate and have a bad loss on your farm then we’re able to deploy people who understand your business.”