The January weather isn’t just depressing for commuters and those fed up with being stuck indoors – it can also cause financial misery for many, particularly motorists and property owners. December’s floods alone cost more than £1 billion for the clean-up.

The Real Financial Cost of the Winter Storms

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The Cost of Flood Damage

Insurance companies claim that the average home hit by the floods will have experienced damage worth around £50,000 – and over 10,000 properties were damaged, with several thousand families still staying in temporary accommodation whilst their homes are repaired. Over 5,000 car owners have also submitted claims to their insurers following storm-related damage, leading to a total cost that tops £1.3 billion.

Are You Adequately Insured?

One issue for policy holders is that they don’t always have as much insurance as they think they do, meaning that their finances can become even more vulnerable.

Combine under-insurance with the budget fallout after Christmas, the increasingly common use of IVA’s and snowballing credit card debts, and it’s clear that a lot of families are under pressure and in need of support from companies such as Financial providers which can offer debt consolidation and debt management programmes in the face of such challenges are often highly welcome for stretched and stressed families and individuals.

Good advice for home and car owners is to check policy documents carefully and make sure that you have adequate insurance in place. Know where your documents are in case of an emergency. If you are about to make a car journey in bad weather, have your car serviced, top up your oil, water and screenwash, check that lights, mirrors and windscreens are clean and have a full tank of fuel. Remember to pack emergency supplies such as a torch, hat and blankets just in case, and have your mobile phone topped up.

For those considering buying a car, be very mindful of advice from the AA, who have warned that a lot of flood-damaged cars are likely to hit the second-hand market once they have dried out. This can lead to extremely dangerous failures, so always look out for condensation or damp smells, and ideally buy from a dealer so that you can be sure of the car’s provenance and know that it has been thoroughly checked pre-sale.