Tiger Guide to Storm Damage Claims
Following the St Jude’s Day Storm, which wreaked havoc upon much of southern England on Monday the 28th of October, insurers have estimated that as much as £500 million may have to be paid out to cover claims related to damage that has been caused by the storm.
This guide aims to help people through the claims process if their car or home has been damaged by the storm.
Is it worth claiming?
Assess the damage. Depending on the level of damage and how much it will cost to fix it, it may be that it’s not worth claiming as the cost of the repair will be similar to the excess. It’s also worth noting that making a claim can impact the price of future claims as it could affect the no claims discount.
Call the insurance company immediately by calling the claims number provided. If the accident has happened outside of claims line opening hours (which should be provided in the insurance documents) there will often be an accident recovery number. It is worth keeping these numbers close to your person, such as in your wallet or in the glove compartment of the vehicle.
Once on the phone to the insurer it is worth making note of some key points:
It is important to ask the insurer what evidence they need to support the claim so they are provided with as much information as possible. This may include photos and videos of the damage.
- Make sure that all correspondence regarding the claim is held on to and make a note of the time and date of any calls that have been made along with the name of the agent that you spoke to.
Don’t forget about the excess. This is the contribution towards the claim that the insured party agreed to pay at the start of the policy. The amount will be in the policy documents.
Claims are, more often than not, approved in minutes over the phone. If you have had an accident most insurers will arrange for the vehicle recovery and repair with one of its approved mechanics. If there is a mechanic that you really want to use, be aware that the claim could take longer if the insurer does not agree with the given estimate. Whatever happens, do not take the car into a mechanic for repairs without first making sure that the insurer will cover the claim!
Call the insurance company immediately; many insurance companies will have a 24 hour helpline for policyholders to call in the event of an accident.
Make sure to take plenty of photos or videos of the damage and keep hold of any damaged items as evidence.
To prevent further damage from the elements make sure that any emergency repair work is carried out but avoid making permanent repairs until the insurance company has approved them.
If damage is severe, check whether the insurance company offers alternative accommodation; re-homing could be necessary while repairs take place.
What if the claim is rejected?
If the claim is rejected it is possible to seek legal advice. There may be situations where the policyholder might have the legal right to be reimbursed for a loss even though the insurance company has refused to pay the claim.
If it is rejected, ask the insurer to explain the specific clause of the contract on which they are basing their decision. If you do not have a copy of the current policy make sure they supply one.