STORM Evert has battered the UK with 70mph winds and torrential rain and thunder – and there’s more to come.
Le Met Office has warned of further heavy downpours over the weekend as well as thunderstorms across central, eastern and southern parts of the country.
Storm Evert started on Thursday evening battering Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with high winds and rain
There are Yellow wind warnings in place the South East and East Anglia coast and thunderstorm warnings across England, as far north as Hull.
Last week London and the South were hit by flash floods – just days after a record-breaking heatwave left Brits sizzling.
Over four feet of water fell in just a matter of hours across some parts of the country leaving homes flooded and cars damaged.
If your domicile has been damaged, we explain how to claim on your insurance – and your options if you don’t have protection in place
Will I be covered if my home has been damaged bad weather?
Selon Confused.com, building and contents insurance policies usually cover against storm damage.
That means you’re likely to be able to make a claim if the bad weather has battered your home.
Aside from flooding, you’re likely to be covered for the following damage to your home if there was a storm according to the comparison website:
- Roof tiles that have blown off in the winds
- Damage to the house caused by lightning
- Bricks and mortar broken by fallen trees and debris
You’re not likely to be able to get a payout for things such as garden fences, sheds, gates and hedges unless your policy specifically says it will.
Many policies often exclude damage made to anything outside the house itself unless you have specific cover.
In some cases, insurers may refuse to pay out if you didn’t maintain your home to a good enough standard.
Par example, if you make a claim for water damage to your house after the storm but the insurer’s inspection finds that the gutters aren’t clear.
In other cases, your building insurance might not cover your possessions so it’s important to check the small print before taking out the policy.
If your house is damaged to badly that you can’t live in it, your insurer should pay for alternative accommodation until they have repaired it.
The Financial Ombudsman defines a storm as something that “generally involves violent winds, usually accompanied by rain, hail or snow”.
But many insurers have their own standards that define “mauvais temps”, which you agree to when you take out the policy.
In lesser weather, they may argue against claims citing things like wind speeds.
How do I make a claim?
Get in touch with your insurer as soon as you can and find out if they have any specific requests that you need to do to make the claim.
Make sure that you take detailed photographs of all of the damage that’s been caused to your property and possessions.
You’ll need to keep all of the damaged property too as the insurance company might want to carry out their own inspection of them before making a decision.
If you need to make any emergency temporary repairs, then you should let your insurer know about it first.
Keep all of the receipts and invoices too as you can add this to your claim.
If your holiday or train travel has been put on hold, here are your rights including how to get a refund, whether your airline has to pay for a hotel room and if you can get compensation.
What happens if I don’t have insurance?
If you’re uninsured and your home is affected by flooding, it’s likely you’ll have to foot the bill for the cost of repairing it yourself.
But there is help available to you if you’re struggling to pay the bill.
You might be able to get financial help from your local council – but help varies depending on where you live.
Many councils including Hertfordshire allowed homeowners to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 if they were affected by the Ciara and Dennis storms back in February last year.
But it is unclear whether the same amount of help will be available now – make sure to check in with your local council for more details.
Selon Flood Guidance, you could get a reduction on your council tax bill, which will help free up money for you to repair and clean up your home.
The amount of cash you could get knocked off your bill depends on your circumstances and you need to apply through your local council – you can find out which one is yours here.
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