Is your vehicle covered for storm damage?

Incidents caused by the elements are often considered an ‘Act of God’. This means it’s generally accepted that any damage incurred was unavoidable, and you are likely to be covered if you have a fully comprehensive policy, with no add-ons required.

In this guide, you can find out more about what qualifies as storm damage to your car, and what you need to know before making a claim:

fallen tree

What sort of damage can a storm do to my vehicle?

Following a storm, it’s important to inspect your vehicle at the earliest available opportunity to see if it has been damaged, and to take photographs as evidence.

Here’s the low-down on some of the most common forms of damage caused by storms:

  • Engine damage: Flood water which enters a vehicle’s engine can do serious damage, often requiring costly and complicated repairs, or even causing it to be written off. While this can be a frustrating inconvenience for drivers, it’s covered by a fully comprehensive policy. This type of damage often affects parked cars that get caught in rising water. However, many instances are caused by drivers attempting to drive through a flood, which can affect a claim. Be sure to contact your insurer immediately upon discovering the damage.
  • Electrics stop working: Water and electrical equipment don’t mix well, so if your car has been caught in a flood, this could affect the electrics in your vehicle, making it unusable. Similarly, serious damage to your car’s interior upholstery can cause huge inconvenience. However, this type of damage is covered by most fully comprehensive policies.
  • Damage to vehicle contents: Another potential problem caused by a storm (in particular flooding) is the damage it causes to the personal contents within your car at the time. This type of damage is likely to be covered in the personal effects section, or a specific section of your policy. These sections may have a separate excess to any damage excesses that may apply. Check your policy or contact us to find out more about your cover.
  • A fallen tree: Lightning or high winds can often cause trees or branches to fall on vehicles. This type of damage is typically covered by your fully comprehensive policy. However, be vigilant - if a tree located on your property falls and is found to be diseased or dead, your claim could be invalid. If the tree is located on someone else’s property, you may be able to claim your costs through their home insurance. Damage to buildings in storms can impact on your vehicle due to falling bricks or roofing tiles. However, there are some key things to remember about making a claim in this instance...
Dent in car

Storm debris damage explained

  • If the damage originates from your home: Your home insurance claim will cover the cost of damage to your car, but if debris has fallen from someone else’s property, you can either claim through their insurance, or your own fully comprehensive car insurance. Also, it’s worth noting that if you’re claiming from somebody else, it will typically take a lot longer to receive your money. Alternatively, claiming through your policy could mean losing your no-claims bonus.
  • Scratched, smashed and dented windows and bodywork: Freak hailstorms can see vehicles pelted with stones the size of golf balls, an event which can cause severe damage to bodywork and windows. These instances of hail damage to your car are rare, but you can rest assured should you ever be affected, most fully comprehensive policies protect you against this kind of damage.
  • Crash caused by snowy or icy conditions: Snow and ice make for particularly hazardous driving conditions, and you should always think carefully about whether your journey is completely necessary. If you do decide to drive in icy conditions, your fully comprehensive policy will cover you, but it’s definitely worth following these useful driving tips.
  • Parked car hit by another vehicle: One of the most common forms of damage caused by snowstorms is when a parked car is struck by another vehicle - if your parked car is hit and you can identify the vehicle which hit your car, you should be able to claim on the other driver’s policy. If you don’t know who hit you, take photos of the damage and call the police to report the collision before calling your insurer to update them.

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