Insurance may not cover wild weather damage

Policy exclusions could lead to storm claims being turned down.

Householders' claims for storm damage could be turned down if they don't have the right cover, insurers said this week. The warning came after firms were hit by record numbers of claims for weather damage following the extreme winds and rain across the country.

Direct Line reported its busiest day for five years while Co-operative Insurance said it had more claims on Tuesday, around 600, than it normally gets in the whole of January.

Carmel McCarthy at More Than said: "Some policies may not cover damage to gates, fences or contents in the open such as garden ornaments so it is important to check to see what cover you have in place."

Most insurers, for instance, will pay for damage to your home caused by falling trees, branches,aerials or satellite dishes.

But they won't pay out for broken aerials or dishes or, for that matter, any hedges, gates or fences.

Asia Yasir of Esure advised: "Although home cover usually provides liability if a fence blew into someone, it won't cover storm damage to gates and fences. Homeowners should therefore ensure that fence posts haven't rotted and secure any loose panels."

You also need to check if there are any claims limits on your policy or other exclusions. "If you have expensive garden equipment in your shed or you have an outbuilding which is used as a games room or study, make sure this is covered in the policy," warned Stuart Curson of Direct Line. Crucially claims will be turned down if insurers believe you have failed to maintain your property properly. So if it finds evidence, for instance, that your roof was damaged before the storm, it may turn down your claim.

Lee Mooney of Co-operative Insurance, warned: "Although most insurers review claims on a case-by-case basis, sometimes home insurance won't cover for loose items such as tiles or fencing when necessary arrangements to maintain these properly were not made before the storm."

For that reason it's a good idea to do a quick storm MoT now, before further high winds or torrential rain add to the damage. Check round your property to ensure there are no obvious problems and lock away loose objects such as dustbins or bird tables.

If your property is damaged, you may need to prove that your area was actually hit by a storm.

The Financial Ombudsman Service said claims complaints often centre around what constitutes a storm as some insurers, for instance, only pay out if winds reach a certain speed on the Beaufort scale.

However, the key lesson from this week's spate of storms is the importance of checking that your policy is valid and suitable.

Mr Mooney said: "Bad weather like we're experiencing reminds us how vital it is to protect our homes with insurance . All too often we go for the cheapest policy rather than checking which one offers the best level of cover."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Suggested Topics
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself with remarkable success
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: HR Benefits Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

    £30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

    Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

    £250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

    Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

    £230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower