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Zurich Insurance sees 50% increase in claims calls from today's severe weather

5th December 2013

Mark Blanchard, Head of property claims at Zurich, said:"As some of the most disruptive weather in many years bears down on parts of the country and especially the East Coast today we have already seen a 50% rise in calls from customers asking for us to help get them back on their feet.

"High winds matched with high tides are a potentially devastating combination and our overriding advice for people at home and at work who are facing this bad weather is to baton down the hatches and be prepared. We are advising customers directly via our claims app and also online to highlight specific precautions they can take. Much of the advice is common sense, but this is often exactly the sort of thing people forget in emergency situations and especially important for people who are preparing to evacuate their properties as well.

"Our loss adjusters and surveyors are on high alert to respond to our customers' needs as quickly as possible - and we've drafted in extra resources particularly for the areas from Humberside down to the Norfolk coast."

Storm protection advice from Zurich to customers:

Unplug all unnecessary appliances to avoid damage by power surges
Turn your fridge and freezer to the coldest setting to avoid food spoilage
Remove any items in the garden/landscape that can be blown during high winds
If the power fails in your home and you need to use candles for light, be sure to use them safely. Use sturdy and fireproof candle-holders and never leave an open flame in an unoccupied room or where children can reach it. Our Claims app has a handy torch feature!
If using a portable generator, never run it inside the home or garage as it produces carbon monoxide which is poisonous. Be aware of the manufacturer's safety advice and adhere to it at all times.
If you notice damp patches within your home following a storm/heave rainfall, turn off electricity at the fuseboard and contact an electrician for assistance. Damp wiring can be a fire hazard.
Wind can lift roof tiles and slates. You should visually inspect your roof after high winds to see if any tiles/slates have been compromised.

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