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Snow – a Rural Crisis


Let us put a spring in your step!

Britons across the country have been hit by the freezing weather conditions, leading to thousands of insurance claims. Many of these claims need to be dealt with immediately as they require emergency repairs – and many are the result of water damage.

To date the worst affected area is in North East of Scotland, where over two feet of snow have fallen. The North East of England has been almost as badly hit and elsewhere temperatures have dipped, well into minus figures, amongst the lowest ever recorded. Snowfall across most of the UK has led to an influx of many hundreds of insurance claims for road accidents, burst pipes and, in rural areas, there is the added burden of uncollected milk from farms.

Of particular concern in rural areas – where snowfall has been particularly heavy – is that farm building roofs can collapse under the weight of the snow. This puts both the farm animals and the farmers at risk of injury. Already, the weight of the snow has resulted in many claims for collapsed roofs from the Aberdeen area and many others from across the Borders region.

Concern now is that more claims will result from farmers and their workers attempting to clear snow from roofs to prevent them caving in. Farmers are therefore advised to take extreme care when attempting to clear snow from the tops of their outbuildings. Beware of ice forming very fast in the driving winds, don't attempt to climb ladders if there are strong winds, and never, ever over-reach whilst on a ladder.

Driving in the countryside is perilous in icy conditions. Try to approach uphill stretches in second or even third gear where possible. Take with you a torch, shovel, blanket, bottle of water and a chocolate bar – even if you are going only a short way. Dress appropriately, you may only intend to be out for a few moments, but those few moments can stretch into hours and you need more than shirt-sleeves to survive. Treat every trip as an expedition – and take a fully charged mobile phone with you.

Whilst we await the thaw and in due course, the coming of Spring, (which however welcome, will inevitably bring more problems in the form of flooding), try to stay safe and warm. Apply common sense and never, ever take unnecessary risks. If you have any insurance concerns, talk to Westhill Insurance Services and they will guide you through the icy maze, to make sure you never slip but always stay on the right track with the best insurance for your needs – and we are pleased to offer advice to those in the rural community.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 16th December, 2010