September 21, 2023 | Claims,

Insurance Claims After a Storm in Ireland

There is a good reason our beautiful Island is dubbed The Emerald Isle. It’s all down to the rain. Some years it can feel like we’ve gone through the storm alphabet by late July. We know all too well the unpredictability of our weather. Our only recourse is to prepare ourselves as best as we can to confront the inevitable arrival of these storms. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with essential insights and advice on how to navigate insurance claims after a storm, understand your storm damage insurance coverage, and ensure you receive the help you need.

Assessing the Aftermath: How Storms Can Affect Your Home

A storm has come and gone. Now, the task at hand is evaluating the extent of the damage. Prior to assessing the aftermath of the storm, it’s crucial to prioritise safety. If possible, assess the damage visually and avoid heights.

When you are assessing damage keep an eye out for cracks, bulges, and signs of shifting walls.

Check the following areas:

  1. Roof Damage: Strong winds can cause the tiles or sections of the roof to become loose, exposing the interior which can cause water damage.
  2. Water Damage: Heavy rainfall, flooding, or hail can cause water to enter the home. Watch out for mould spores, the beginning of wood rot and wet insulation.
  3. Window and Door Damage: Check for any shattered windows and glass doors.
  4. Structural Damage: Severe storms can cause structural damage to the foundation of your home which would need professional repair.
  5. Electrical Issues: Lightening during storms can lead to power surges that damage your electrical items like appliances.
  6. Tree Damage: Falling trees or branches can cause considerable damage to the roof, walls, and other parts of the home’s exterior.
  7. Content Damage: Water infiltration, wind-driven rain, or flooding can damage belongings within the home, such as furniture, electronics, and personal items.
  8. Fencing and Boundary Structures: Check that any fencing, gates or boundary walls are all still intact.

Understanding Storm Damage Insurance Cover

It’s essential that you as the homeowner have a grasp on what your home insurance covers. 

There are two main components to home insurance:

  • Buildings insurance. Structures, sheds and permanent fixtures are included in this coverage.
  • Contents insurance. It covers the cost of damage to or theft of your belongings.

Although building and contents insurance can be purchased separately, it is a combination of both types of insurance policies that will give you the best and most comprehensive cover should you have storm damage.

So, what is included under contents insurance?

Coverage under contents insurance incorporates a variety of categories for safeguarded items:

  • Household Goods: This includes fixtures, fittings, and decorative components in your home.
  • Belongings: Portable electronics like TVs, sports gear, and clothing would be included here.
  • Valuables: Includes jewellery, watches, cameras and even Artwork.
  • Business Equipment: Contents insurance often covers computers and office supplies.

How to Make a Claim: Step-by-Step Guide

So, what is the insurance process after a storm? It may sound like a daunting task. You’ve already been through a stressful situation, and you certainly don’t want to add to it. With that being said, let us guide you through the process of making a claim. With our advice, we can hopefully make the process a little easier to get the best outcome.

  • Review Your Insurance Policy: Have a look at your home insurance policy to understand exactly what cover you have. If you have any queries, note them down to present to your Insurance Broker or insurance provider.
  • Safely document the Damage: This step is absolutely crucial. Accurately and thoroughly documenting the damage is key to a successful claim. Where possible and safe, take clear photos and videos of the damage caused by the storm. Remember to do this for both the interior and exterior of your home. 
  • Prevent Further Damage: If possible, take steps to prevent further damage to your property. For instance, if there’s a broken window, cover it to prevent rain from entering and causing more damage.
  • Notify Your Insurance Broker or Provider: Get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as possible. They will help you navigate the claims process from start to finish. Have your policy number on hand when making the call. Here are the main three initial steps you’ll take:
  1. Provide Details: Give your insurance provider exact details about the damage when you speak with them. Tell them what happened, when it happened and how much damage was done.
  2. Fill Out Claim Forms: Your insurance company will ask you to complete claim forms. These forms will request details regarding the damage, your policy, and other pertinent information. Fill out these forms as accurately as possible.
  3. Submit Evidence: Share with your insurance provider the images, recordings, and any other supporting materials you have gathered. This evidence will support your claim.
  • Get Repair Estimates: Next gather repair cost estimates from trustworthy contractors. Your insurance company will use this information to determine how much compensation you should receive.
  • Keep Records: Keep copies of all correspondence with your insurance provider, including phone call logs, emails, and letters. This will make it easier for you to monitor the development of your claim.

The Outcome: If they approve your claim, your insurance company will provide you with the compensation to cover the repair costs, up to the limit specified in your policy.

Common Claim Mistakes to Avoid

  • Taking too long to report damage: For the best outcome, make sure that you report damage to your insurer ASAP.
  • Incomplete documentation: Provide documentation of ALL damage as comprehensively as possible. Use videos, photos, and even a written account.
  • Poor communication: Always be open with your insurance company and keep the communication prompt and transparent. This is one of the most essential aspects of processing a successful claim.
  • Avoiding temporary repairs: We would recommend temporary repairs following an incident, to prevent further damage, however they should be treated as temporary. For example, covering a smashed or cracked window to prevent rainfall entering the home. Never attempt to perform repairs beyond your skill level or without the proper equipment and knowledge.

The Value of using a loss assessor

A loss assessor can play a valuable role in helping individuals and businesses navigate the complex process of filing insurance claims and recovering from losses due to events like fires, floods, storms, or other disasters.

Picking a Reliable Insurer Like Campion

Submitting insurance claims after a storm doesn’t have to be an extra headache on top of everything else. Working with a Broker like Campion Insurance means you have someone to support you every step of the way. If you follow the steps provided above, we can help take care of the rest and hopefully get you the outcome you wish for.

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