Don’t panic. If you’ve been affected by a storm, then you’re probably feeling tired as well as worried about physical damage to your property.
Get some rest, make sure you’ve had something to eat and drink, and take a deep breath. If you’re stressed then physical damage may appear to be worse than it actually is – and the most important thing is that you’re safe.
Where to start…
- First of all, be careful. Even before you think about making a claim for damage to your property, you want to minimise the risks to yourself. If your property’s suffered physical damage, try not to stand too close to walls when you go outside. See what damage has been done and check for fallen roof tiles from a safe distance.
- Get in touch with your insurer. Insurers know they’re likely to get calls after storms, so you’ll be talking to people who are prepared for your questions.
- Check your cover. If power lines have come down and you have no electricity, it’s not likely your insurer will provide alternative accommodation unless there’s damage to your actual building. But you may find that you are covered for loss of food from fridges and freezers.
- Make a list and take pictures of anything that’s damaged – it helps insurers to process claims more smoothly.
- Keep receipts for any emergency repairs you make like new panes of glass or roof repairs. Your insurance company will probably want you to get their agreement on making repairs before you go ahead, but be practical: you don’t want a bad situation to get worse, jut because you can’t get through on the phone, perhaps.
What sort of damage do storms cause?
Here are a few of the common ways a storm can affect your property:
- Roof tiles. These are easily blown off in severe weather, and gutters or fascias could also be damaged.
- TV aerials or satellite dishes. These may be covered by your insurance and can often come down in high gales.
- Broken glass. If you have a conservatory, outhouses or a greenhouse, you may have smashed windows to contend with. If you’re confident about it as a job you’ve done before perhaps, then you could take steps to remove glass carefully.
- Trees falling down and damaging buildings. If your neighbour’s tree falls and causes damage to your property, then your neighbour will probably have to claim on their insurance. But do be aware that, if you don’t act appropriately – for example, getting a tree trimmed if it’s clear that it’s diseased and could cause damage – then you could be considered negligent (and your neighbour may want to claim from you).
- Boundary walls. Your policy probably won’t cover fences, gates or hedges but it may well cover boundary walls blown down by stormy weather, as long as they’ve been kept in good condition up to that point.
Sometimes, stormy weather can cause flooding. Read more about what to do in case your home is flooded.
How to make a claim
For Aviva home insurance: Go to our home claim page to find out how to claim online.
Alternatively, call us on 0345 030 6945 (lines open 24 hours)
For Aviva car insurance: Go to our car claim page to find out how to claim online.
Alternatively, call us on 0345 030 6925 (lines open 24 hours)
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