The do’s and don’ts of making an insurance claim in the wake of a storm
Making an insurance claim storm damage has the potential to pose several challenges for policy holders.
That’s why keeping some basic rules in mind in the aftermath of a storm can help you achieve the best claim settlement possible.
In this blog post, we share our top tips for dealing with storm and flood damage to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
What is storm and flood damage?
Strong winds such as those we saw in storms with gusts of up to 156 km/hr can cause extensive damage to homes and businesses (How to protect your property from storm damage) whether building damage caused by high winds or fallen trees or unsecured outdoor equipment that can become dangerous projectiles.
However, storm rains can also cause extensive damage to property, penetrating buildings through broken windows, missing roof tiles and slates.
Flash flooding is also a key feature of many of Ireland’s storms, particularly along coastal regions where property and infrastructure are at risk of storm surges and tidal flooding.
Your insurance policy terms will detail the cover your insurer has agreed to provide you in a storm or flood event; sometimes these can be difficult to interpret, so support from an insurance claims expert can be invaluable throughout the insurance claim process.
Before you make a claim for storm damage, keep these tips in mind
If you think you have a claim for storm or flood damage, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind before you make a claim.
Most importantly, you should always resist the temptation to enter damaged property because structural damage can make it unsafe.
Even if there doesn’t appear to be much damage, sometimes the most dangerous hazards can be hidden from view.
That’s why you should never enter a property that has sustained storm or flood damage until it is declared safe by an expert.
Policy holders should also avoid cleaning up storm damage until an insurance claims expert has assessed the property, as they risk jeopardising their insurance claim.
Similarly, flood damage should first be extensively photographed to provide a record of the flood event before policy holders begin their clean-up.
Flood clean-up can pose health hazards so it is important to wear protective clothing and boots and to avoid contact with the water, which can often be contaminated. Standing water should be removed and air circulated to help prevent the growth of mould and mildew.
Finally, policy holders should carry out any necessary emergency repair work to reduce the likelihood of any further damage, by calling a qualified plumber, electrician, or builder. Keep all receipts for work carried out as this will be included as part of your insurance claim. Do not carry out any clean-up of the area until it has been properly assessed and photographed as this can seriously affect an insurance claim and the settlement amount you may be entitled to.
Before you phone your insurer, phone CMG for advice.
If your property has sustained damage from a storm, you might be feeling a little anxious about the insurance claims process and how to manage a claim.
The team at CMG, Ireland’s leading independent insurance loss assessors, can provide you with advice and support that relieves you of the burden of an insurance claim.
We can conduct a thorough assessment of your property damage, and then prepare all the paperwork associated with your claim, lodge it with your insurance company on your behalf, and negotiate with your insurer and their loss adjuster to secure the very best settlement under the terms of your insurance policy.
In the aftermath of a storm or flood, our team can also help you to:
- find alternative accommodation
- coordinate emergency repair works
- arrange cleaning contractors to clean-up mess from the storm or flood
- assess the total loss to your property, including flood water damage that might not be spotted early on but cause long-term structural damage to your property
- appoint independent contractors to carry out repair works in your best interests and supervise their works until completed
If your property has suffered storm or flood damage from Storm Barra, CMG’s expert loss assessing team is standing by with comprehensive support for your business or home insurance claim.
For advice or help to lodge a claim, please call CMG on 0818 118 118 (ROI), 028 8224 9015 (NI) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .