Most of us in the UK will be getting ready to wave a fond farewell to summer time, if we haven’t already. Conspicuous levels of wind and rain are already appearing across the isles, and we have to accept that the weather is going to get a little more challenging over the next, well, six months or so!

For home owners, the spectre of storm damage is something that poses a minor but very real risk. While your main home or second home insurance policies are there to be claimed if the worst happens, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the need to claim, thereby saving you trouble, the cost of the excess – and losing any no claims bonus you may have accrued.

If, for example, you lock your holiday home up over the winter, there are several things you can do to eliminate or minimise damage caused by bad weather. If you can, check that roof tiles, slates and chimneys are secure, to help reduce the risk of water damage in the roof area. Examine any out buildings you may have and ensure they are weather tight. If possible, check that your satellite and TV aerial are fixed securely to the building.

Also take some time to make sure any hazards in your garden are removed: cut away dead or damaged branches, and ensure any garden gates and fences are secure.

It is a good idea to keep an emergency kit in the house, so that if you suffer a power cut, you’ll be prepared. Include in this a torch (a wind up one is preferable), a first aid kit, candles and matches. Readiness is all, as Shakespeare said, and this is doubly the case as regards preparing for stormier months.