Can I claim on my insurance for storm damage?


February 2022

Can I claim on my insurance for storm damage?

The last week has seen a succession of record breaking storms batter the UK. Storm Eunice, by far the most severe of them, caused around £300m worth of damage. 

If you’re unlucky enough to have been on the receiving end of this, you might be wondering what you can claim on. 

Can I claim for storm damage on my house?

The vast majority of home insurance policies contain some form of storm cover. While the categorisations of a storm vary from company to company, the Association of British Insurers categorises a storm as the following:

  • Wind speeds of 55mph and over

  • Rainfall of at least 25mm per hour

  • Snow at least as deep as one foot

  • Hail that causes damage to hard surfaces and glass

Even within these parameters, there might be some exceptions to what you can get paid out on. Fences, for example, are often excluded as they are at such a high risk of damage during strong winds. 

Similarly, if there are parts of your house that were already falling into disrepair, you might not be able to claim on them, as negligence on your part will be seen as a contributing factor. If you have contents insurance, then you will be able to recoup losses for damaged possessions as long as you have included them on your policy.

The most important thing to do if your home has been adversely affected by stormy weather is to get in touch with your insurer right away. Make sure you have documented any damage to your home with photo evidence where possible. If you can, photos of the state of your property pre-storm will help to illustrate what has happened.

Should you be required to stay in temporary accommodation, then, depending on your policy, your insurer may be required to foot the bill.

Can I claim for storm damage to my car?

If your vehicle has fallen foul of uprooted trees or falling debris, your ability to make a claim will depend on your policy. 

If you’ve taken out comprehensive cover, then you should find yourself protected. However, if you have third-party, or third-party fire and theft, then you will not receive any assistance, as damages to your vehicle are not included in these policies

Your specific circumstances may also come into play here. If, for example, you were on the road unnecessarily when a tree fell on your car, your insurer might take a dim view. This is because your actions significantly increased your chances of an accident, which could result in a lower payout or none at all.

As with claims on your home, any damage done to your vehicle should be reported as quickly as possible, with all necessary evidence provided. 

Other compensation

If you’ve found yourself inconvenienced or out of pocket as a result of the storm, there may be other ways that you could claim compensation:

Loss of power 

Should your home be left without power, then you might qualify for a payout. You can claim £70 if you have been left in the dark for 24 or 48 hours, depending on the severity of the weather. You can also claim an additional £70 every 12 hours after that, up to a maximum of £700.

In order to be eligible, you must make a claim with your electricity distributor within 30 days of the incident. If you’re not sure who the electricity distributor is in your area, then you can check on the National Grid’s website.

Cancelled train

If your train was cancelled due to stormy weather, then you are entitled to a full refund without any administration fees. Generally, you will be given 28 days to apply, with some train operators allowing a longer period. 

You can also claim some or all of the ticket price if the service was delayed significantly. This is under the ‘delay repay’ scheme, which entitles you to 50% of your fare if your train is between 30-60 minutes late and the entire cost if it’s over an hour. 

Cancelled flights

If your flight was cancelled as a result of the stormy weather then you are entitled to a full refund or alternative flight from the airline. You will not be able to claim any additional compensation however, as the storm is deemed outside of the airline's control.