Insurance Claims for Storm Damage
Oct 28, 2013
You can imagine the phone lines for Insurance companies throughout the UK are red hot in the aftermath of the St Jude’s Day Hurricane, with thousands needing to make insurance claims for storm damage on their car and home insurance as a result of last night’s extreme weather conditions.
I’m pleased to say that other than a sleepless night, we were fairly unscathed apart from a very sick bird I found injured in the garden this morning, which had obviously taken a severe beating in the appalling winds. I did take it to the local vets but given its condition, I’m sad to say I do think the storm may have got the better of it.
A storm is one of those occasions when you are thankful to have insurance cover. Whether you need to claim on your buildings insurance for damages to your roof; car insurance for a dented bonnet or contents insurance for ruined furniture; your car and home insurance policies should help everything get put to rights as quickly as possible.
It’s true to say that most of us make insurance claims so infrequently, it’s inevitable that we are a little rusty when it comes to knowing what to do; so to ensure your claim is processed and handled as smoothly as possible, here are our quick tips on how to make an insurance claim:
1. Call the insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage giving an accurate description of any work that needs doing. Most insurers will give you the option of arranging a tradesman on your behalf or letting you choose someone locally but check first.
2. Deal with emergencies – if work needs to be carried out immediately in order to reduce the damage or make the building safe, go ahead and organise it. Do keep receipts though so the insurer can reimburse you.
3. Take photos – Photographs of the damage will help support your claim and evidence any items you need replacing.
4. Retain proof of things such as carpets to prove their quality and so ensure items are replaced on a like for like basis
5. Speak to your insurer about alternative accommodation if your house is inhabitable as this is often included in home insurance cover. They will probably have arrangements in place with local business so always go through them.
6. Arrange for a loss adjuster to come and assess the damage. This will be arranged through your insurer if there is a substantial amount of damage.
The most important thing to remember is unless you are facing a hazardous situation that needs dealing with as a matter of urgency such as a dangerous roof or flooding, always report your claim to your insurer before you start paying for tradesmen, alternative accommodation or replacement items. You don’t want to end up out of pocket so it makes sense to check with the insurance company first.