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Handing a home emergency: What to do

Here at Liberty Insurance, we know that in the real world, not everything goes to plan. Dealing with the unexpected can be particularly challenging when it happens at home, because it’s where we feel safest and most secure. We’re here to help you through those times, with cover and care, as well as expert advice. Home emergencies can encompass everything from a fire to a leak, and happen on a summer’s day or in the midst of a storm. While we can’t prepare for everything, there are a few basic actions you can take should a problem arise.

1. Call for Help

If there’s a situation that threatens your safety, call the emergency services immediately. Make sure you give the operator your full address, plus the Eircode and any details they’ll need for access, such as specific directions or a gate code. If the problem isn’t dangerous, you might still need to contact outside help, such as professional gas, electricity or plumbing experts. Don’t attempt to undertake any major work or explore unexplained issues yourself – it’s best to leave it to the right people with the right skills.

2. Move to a Place of Safety

Often, in emergency situations, there’s a lot that’s unknown. Did that fallen tree damage a power line? Has the gas supply been affected? Is there still a risk of fire? If in doubt, make sure you move you, your family and pets to a place of safety, away from any potential sources of danger. Take shelter, if possible, in a neighbour’s house or a car parked far enough away. Don’t worry about bringing items such as handbags or laptops with you – nothing is as important as your family’s wellbeing.

3. Shut Down Power

Depending on the emergency, you might need to turn off your electricity, gas or water – if it’s safe to do so. It’s a good idea to learn in advance where the master controls are, so that you or other members of your family can access them quickly if needed. Sometimes, particularly in older houses, the switches might be hard to find or their stickers difficult to read. There is usually an emergency number on your gas boiler or electricity panel – call it for extra help if you’re not sure how to proceed.

4. Contact your Insurer

With decades of experience in home emergencies, Liberty Insurance will know how to help should the unexpected happen. Our claims team pride themselves on answering calls promptly– we understand that even a minute can feel like a long time when you’re upset or worried. We also have an emergency home repair helpline that can put you in touch with reputable tradespeople (such as a plumber or electrician). Depending on the type of policy you have in place, you may be entitled to emergency home repair or a contribution to alternative accommodation if needed – learn more about our home insurance benefits here.

5. Take a Deep Breath

Life is full of surprises, but when they happen at home, it can feel particularly jarring. When we close our front doors at night time, we tend to feel safe and secure – when that sense of sanctuary is compromised, it’s completely natural to feel upset. Fire, water and smoke damage can be particularly devastating, as they sometimes damage precious possessions, such as family heirlooms and children’s toys. If you’re feeling anxious or unwell as a result of a home emergency, reach out to get help from a health professional. Talking to an expert, discussing your feelings, and working through the experience with professionals can make you feel much better.

Liberty Insurance Ireland is part of a group that has been serving customers for more than 100 years – that means we’ve seen every type of emergency along the way, from burst pipes to fallen trees, all the way to earthquake tremors and lightning strikes. Our expert team and dedicated Claims Buddies will be there to help from the moment something goes wrong. It’s good to know there’s always someone there for you, to offer protection and peace of mind. Liberty’s #InsuranceExplained makes insurance simpler for the real world, making it easier for you to get the best insurance you can.