Insurers offer advice to households hit by storm damage

Storm Dudley has left properties without power and Storm Eunice is set to cause further damage and disruption.

17 February 2022

Households dealing with storm damage are urged to contact their insurer for help and advice as soon as possible, keep any emergency repair receipts and not to automatically throw away damaged items.

As Storm Eunice approaches, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said providers will do everything they can to help customers recover as quickly as possible, should the conditions cause damage to their property.

Home insurance, commercial business policies and comprehensive motor insurance all cover damage caused by storms.

Waves hitting the sea wall in Whitby
Waves hitting the sea wall in Whitby as Storm Dudley swept into the UK (Danny Lawson/PA)

Storm Dudley has already left properties without power and caused travel disruption as it swept through parts of the UK on Wednesday and early on Thursday.

Laura Hughes, manager of general insurance at the ABI, said: “Insurers expect storms to strike at any time.

“When bad weather hits, their priority is always to help their affected customers recover as quickly as possible – from making emergency payments, arranging any temporary emergency accommodation, to getting the damage repaired.

“If you suffer damage to your property, contact your insurer as soon as you can for help and advice.”

The ABI has the following advice:

– Keep a close eye on weather warnings and follow advice from the Met Office, the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Natural Resources Wales and the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland.

– Where possible, put items usually left in gardens that can easily be blown away and cause damage inside, or ensure they are secure.

– Have contact details of your home insurer to hand, along with other emergency contact numbers for your utility providers and the local authority.

– If you suffer storm damage, contact your insurer as soon as possible. Most will have 24-hour emergency helplines to ensure you get advice on what to do and arrange repairs as quickly as is possible.

– If necessary, arrange temporary emergency repairs to stop any damage getting worse, but speak to your insurer first. If you have to arrange emergency repairs yourself, tell your insurer and keep any receipts, as this will form part of your claim.

– Do not be in a rush to throw away damaged items, unless they are a danger to health, as these may be able to be repaired or restored. Your insurer will be able to advise you.

– If your home is uninhabitable while repairs are being carried out, your insurer will arrange for, and pay the cost of, any alternative temporary accommodation you may need.

– Commercial polices will cover damage to premises and stock. Business interruption cover (which may be included or purchased separately) will cover additional trading costs, such as hiring temporary alternative trading premises if necessary.

– Comprehensive motor insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by storms.

Further information from the ABI is available at www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/flooding/storms.

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