Powerful winds can cause extensive damage to property as many will have experienced this year. The extreme weather seen in parts of the country over the last couple of months has caused chaos for many households who will now be looking to make an insurance claim.
Weather is a common cause for claims. In fact, one in ten households have had to make a claim in the past due to bad weather creating costly chaos in their homes. This includes damaged roofs, fences and outbuildings, as well as burst or damaged water pipes.
How to protect your home from flooding.
According to the Association of British Insurers, when looked at over the long term, floods and storms tend to result in similar levels of claims costs for the insurance industry. But while floods create lower numbers of expensive claims, wind damage affects far higher numbers of people, but less severely.
10 ways your garden can help reduce flash flooding.
What you can claim for
It’s important to understand what your home insurance will cover, before reaching for the claim form. Remember, it’s not just damage to your property that might give rise to a claim. You might find a neighbour has a claim against you should one of your roof tiles go crashing into their greenhouse.
Insurers report that some of the most common claims to homes and property are dislodged tiles or slates, windows broken by debris carried by high winds, and trees or branches brought down that have damaged property. Falling TV aerials are also usually covered by an insurance policy.
Home insurance policies, like any other type of insurance, include exclusions.
Roof damage is covered, but not if the roof was in a state of disrepair in the first place.
Wear and tear is not typically covered, so an insurance company won’t pay to replace an old, rickety fence blown down and damaged beyond repair either. This is why it’s important to keep your home well maintained.
However, where there is extreme damage caused by a storm, and your home in uninhabitable, an insurer will usually pay out for temporary accommodation while repairs are carried out.
Dealing with claims against you
If you’re unlucky, you might be accountable for damage to other people’s property or, even worse, another person – a tile from your roof might get caught in a powerful gust and hit a car, a wheelie bin could blow over and hit a passerby. If your garden wall collapses or a tree in your garden blows over and damage someone else’s property, you're also liable.
Most property policies will give a homeowner some sort of liability cover which will cover any valid claim. Where there is damage to a car, the car owner can claim for the damage to their vehicle from their own motor insurer if it’s worth doing once the excess is factored in. Their motor insurer can then make a claim on your third-party liability in your buildings cover.
In any event, talk to your insurer at the earliest opportunity to get guidance on any potential claim.
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