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QA Damage caused by flooding and storms what happens next

What should people do if they have been affected by the storm?

Contact your insurer as soon as possible if they need to make a claim for damage. Have your  insurance documents and policy number/s to hand. Check your policy as most insurers have 24 hour emergency helplines to give advice and ensure that your claim gets moving as quickly as possible. Keep your mobile phone handy in case power lines are disrupted.

How much do insurers think this storm will cost?

It is too early to tell. The immediate priority for insurers is to deal with claims as quickly as possible, and costs will not be known till all the claims are in and assessed. The 1987 great storm cost around £2bn in today’s money, and the summer floods of 2007 cost in excess of £3bn. The recent St Jude storm in October is estimated to have cost £130 million in insured damage.  Claims for weather are unpredictable, they don’t follow a set pattern. But events like this are what insurance is there for. Insurers will be doing everything possible to help all of their customers affected.

How will insurers deal with the influx of calls?

Insurers are used to dealing with bad weather events. Their main priority will be making sure that claims from their customers are dealt with as quickly as possible, arranging temporary accommodation, making emergency payments where necessary, and assessing the damage when safe to do so. People who suffer damage should contact their insurer as soon as possible for advice. Most insurers have 24 hour emergency helplines to offer help and advice, so check your policy and make sure you know the telephone number to call.

What if my home is so badly damaged that it is uninhabitable while being repaired?

Buildings and contents policies normally cover the cost of temporary alternative accommodation, (up to the policy limit) should you need to move out while your home is being repaired.

Will home insurance premiums go up as a result of this storm?

Property insurance premiums are not usually impacted by one event, but rather on the cost of a range of many different factors. One event will not usually push up property insurance premiums across the board. If you have made a claim or claims during the year this may impact on your premium at renewal, depending on the cost of the claim.

If you have made a claim you could lose any no claim discounts that built up, which could make a difference to the following year’s premiums. However, home insurance is very competitive so we always advise people to shop around for the best cover for them.

If something like a roof tile flies off my house in the storm and causes damage or injury, am I covered for my liability?

Your buildings policy will usually cover your legal liability in instances like this. There may be a limit to it depending on the policy.  For anyone to be able to claim against you it would have to be shown that your negligence led to the damage (for example, if it can be shown that you were aware that your roof was in a dangerous condition, and you did nothing about it).

Is there any insurance cover in the event of disruption to power supplies?

Some home contents policies may cover loss of food in freezers (up to the policy limit) due to failure in the power supply. Check if your home contents policy covers this.

Will motor insurance cover damage to vehicles?

Yes, comprehensive motor insurance covers damage to your vehicle. If you have third party fire and theft, this does not cover damage as a result of storms or floods. If your vehicle is damaged by someone else or their property (such as a falling roof tile) to be able to claim against them you would need to show that they were legally liable (negligent).

If I am due to fly and bad weather closes the airport or prevents me from getting to the airport can I claim on travel insurance?

You should contact your airline or travel agent for advice. Some travel insurance policies may offer some cover for missed flights due to your journey to the airport being disrupted in certain circumstances, so check your travel policy. If your flight is delayed by bad weather, then policies may pay a fixed cash sum after a specified number of hours delay, and also if delay caused by bad weather forces you to abandon your trip.

Last updated 01/07/2016