Local Insurance News
09/01/2012 - Insurance claims expected as 87mph winds batter UK
This week the UK has seen winds between 60 – 70mph and in Wales winds up to 87mph have been recorded. Police in some areas are urging motorists to only use their cars for essential journeys as the high winds could cause fatalities.
Many of us have felt the effect of the strong winds this year, some more than others, but local insurance broker Ali Mimoglu from Coversure has advised business owners to be mindful of the effect the weather can have on their businesses and the claims that could be brought against them.
“Already there have been several claims due to the high winds. Many business premises have been damaged and there have been cases where this damage has caused injury to members of the general public as well as motoring claims where high sided vehicles have been blown over and damaged.”
“We expect more claims to come in over the next few days and weeks.”
So will your insurance cover you for wind damage? Ali Mimoglu has provided some common questions and answers below:
Q Am I covered if my property is damaged by strong winds?
A – Provided that Storm cover is included as an insured peril within the terms of the contract then in broad terms –Yes. However it must be declared as a storm by the Met Office, and the property must have been maintained in a good state of repair. Cover does not apply to walls, gates, fences, sheds and greenhouses.
Q The winds caused a neighbour’s property to damage mine; whose insurance should I report the claim to – the neighbour’s or mine?
A – Initially it would be quicker to get the damage dealt with by claiming off your own policy. If you opt to pursue a claim from the neighbour then you should prove negligence against them which can take time.
Q If my property damages someone else’s property due to the winds; will my liability insurance cover me?
A – Yes, but only if the third party can prove negligence against you. Storms are often an ‘act of God’ and not your fault. However, if you fail to keep your property in a good state of repair this could invalidate your insurance policy.
Q Will my Public Liability insurance provide me with legal assistance in the event of personal injury claim against me?
A – Your own insurers will handle a legally presented claim against you under the terms of the policy.
Q If my property is damaged, can I start making repairs to prevent further damage or will this affect the claim?
A – You can, but only to mitigate or try and prevent any further losses or it getting worse by neglect. This would be seen as being pro-active by your insurers. However, make sure you don’t start appointing contractors without getting competitive written quotes approved by the insurers. Remember that unless your insurers agree to the quote and confirm in writing, you could be spending your own money!
In many cases people are wondering what can be done to prevent this damage. John Hooper went on to say “Although the weather is unpredictable and there is only so much we can do to prevent damage or injury to others, there are some basic steps that can be taken to minimise the effect.”
For more information on what to do in the result of a claim or for more techniques to minimise the damage caused by wind, it is advisable to contact your local insurance broker or insurance company.