My home's been caught in a storm
When a storm hits, the first thing to do is make sure everyone is safe and, ideally, indoors. Only when the high wind and heavy rain has passed, and it’s safe to venture out, should you begin to assess the damage.
Be aware that the aftermath of a storm can be a dangerous environment, and you may need to switch off your home’s gas, electricity or water supplies. There could still be falling masonry or trees, damaged gas pipes, or electricity wires and flooding, so be alert.
If there is damage, the next step is to contact your insurer and get the claims process moving - here is an insurance claim checklist to help you through the process:
What to do after a storm - five steps to making a claim
1. Before you call, take photos of the immediate aftermath, and keep a record of any damaged property or possessions.
2. Most insurers have 24 hour emergency helplines, but in the wake of severe storms, power and phone lines can be damaged, so you may need to use a mobile.
3. Have your policy documents to hand and your insurer will talk you through the claims process.
Did You Know...? High winds on February 12, 2014 left more than 100,000 homes without power across the UK.
4. Your insurer may send out an assessor to look at the damage, so hold off on all but the most essential clean-up and repairs.
5. Once it’s clear what repairs are needed, most insurers will arrange for a company to carry out the work on your behalf. You’re free to choose a different supplier, but be aware that if the work runs over budget, you may not be covered for the additional cost. Either way, make sure you have your insurer’s approval before you book any work.
Unfortunately, storms, by their very nature, can affect a large number of homes. In the immediate aftermath, local repair firms can be put under great pressure, and the clean-up can take many weeks, but rest assured that your insurer’s main priority will be to make sure their customers are dealt with as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
“Exceptional events like severe storms are what you pay your insurance premiums for, so you should be confident that your insurer will help you through the recovery process. Insurers know that, in circumstances like these, speed is of the essence. They can move fast to provide immediate support like emergency repairs and accommodation, helping make these tough times as bearable as they can.”