How to claim for storm damage to your vehicle
If a storm hits and it damages your car, you’re likely to have to make a call to your insurer. But, as long as you have comprehensive insurance, you should be covered. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to make a claim:
1. What should I consider before making claim?
If your car is hit by falling trees and debris, such as tiles from your roof, you’ll want to make a claim on your insurance. However, for example, if your car is damaged by tiles from a neighbour’s roof - specifically ones that should have been repaired - you could claim against them instead due to negligence.
In this case, your insurer will want to check where the fault lies and potentially recover the costs from your neighbour’s home insurance provider. Always check with your insurer first, as they will be able to advise on the next steps to take.
2. Take photographs to back up your claim
When it’s safe to do so, and the storm has calmed, take some clear pictures of storm damage on your phone or camera. This will help provide your insurer with the evidence needed to process your claim. Try to take the photos before any clean-up process has begun, so the insurer can assess the full extent of the damage caused by the storm.
3. Pick up the phone to your insurer
If your car has been damaged in stormy weather, it’s important to contact your insurer as soon as possible so they can start processing the claim. Most insurers have a 24 hour emergency helpline, with people who can talk you through the claims process. Having your policy documents to hand can make the call easier, and your insurer can check that you’re covered to approach one of its approved contractors, who can remove debris or start repairs on your car.
Check you have the right insurance
There are three types of car insurance: third party, third party, fire and theft, and comprehensive, but it’s only a comprehensive policy that is likely to cover your car for storm damage. It’s always best to check this by contacting your insurer.
4. Plan repairs and keep receipts
It’s best to contact one of your insurer’s approved repairers for ease, as they’ll work with them on a regular basis. If your insurer stated it will pay for repairs following your initial call, ensure you keep any receipts to prove payment. With an approved repairer, it’s likely that you’ll only have to pay your excess, as they’ll recoup the rest of the bill directly from your insurer.
If your car is going to take a while to fix, your insurer may provide a courtesy car from one of its approved repairers, but this will depend on the claim and the policy held. For instance, if your car is written off, it is unlikely that a courtesy car will be provided.
What will my insurer do next?
After your initial call to make a storm damage claim, it’s likely that your insurer will check there was a storm in the area you live. After this, your insurer should be able to give you a timeline of when they’re likely to be able to settle the claim and can advise you on contacting its approved repairers if needed.