Storm Damage & Your Policy
Global Warming?, Whatever your views on climate change or its causes, one need only look out a window to see the major changes in the Irish weather. We now receive heavier downpours, more severe flooding from storm surges, higher winds and more frequent and prolonged spells of bad weather.
Ultimately, storms in Ireland are more frequent and more severe. Your home insurance policy will cover the cost of repairing your home following storm damage, but here are a few tips to minimize damage where possible.
Batten Down the Hatches.
Once severe weather is forecast in your area firstly look around your home and garden and secure any loose items that can be blown around. Items such as garden furniture, children’s toys, tools and plant pots should be collected and stored in a secured shed or garage. REMEMBER to lock your shed or garage. You would be amazed how often a shed door is blown off causing further damage.
Check all guttering and tiles are secure and make sure that gutters and drains are unblocked. If you are evacuated take valuables, insurance documents and pets.
After a storm, do not attempt to inspect any damage while rain and wind persists. If you have suffered any damage call a reputable independent loss assessor to act on your behalf in processing your claim. You may have to pay an excess to the repairer, this is the initial amount of a claim which is not covered by your policy.
Contact your broker or insurer urgently to discuss any damage, they may agree to you carrying out certain emergency repairs before their representative has visited the property; your loss assessor may do this on your behalf. Make sure you keep receipts from your emergency repairs and where possible get an additional quote so you know you are paying a fair price.
Do not throw damaged items away as you will need to show them to the insurance representative so they can organise an equivalent replacement. Taking photos of items that need emergency repair can also help. Arrange the removal of any trees or branches that have been damaged and may be a threat to your property.
Your buildings insurance will pay for repair work for the damage done to your property. Most things are covered, apart from the excess but a few areas like gates, fences and shrubs are not normally insured. Your independent loss assessor can advise you in regard to your particular policy.
If the worst has happened and you are unable to live in your home most household insurance policies will pay towards equivalent alternative accommodation for several months while repairs are being made.