A fair number of landlords are left puzzled why their claim for storm damage is rejected by their insurance company.
Storm is a combination of weather elements and is defined by having wind speeds of 90km/hr or more (greater than 55 mph; Force 10 on the Beaufort scale). This will normally be accompanied by heavy rain or hailstones or thunder and lightning. Insurance policies will normally respond to claims for Storm, although if you have suffered damage during high winds – even severe gale force winds and rain this will not be sufficient to qualify as “Storm” unless you are able to prove this with recourse to local weather reports, which may show gusts that qualify.
As always, it is the small print that will lead to claim success or claim failure. Loss Adjusters will have access to meteorological records, both national and local (e.g. from the Met. Office) to determine the weather conditions for the day of the incident you will have reported to your insurer.
Local newspaper reports may have a tendency to exaggerate high winds and class this as “Storm”; however, the Loss Adjusters and Insurance Companies will be looking closely at the actual recorded local wind-speeds to see whether or not they will allow claims under their definitions within the policy.
There may be a viable claim to be made – if you have insured against it – under “accidental damage” cover, though. This may result in at least being paid out for the interior damage caused by the ingress of water; even if the damage sustained to the exterior is excluded.
Loss Assessors may not be able to influence the weather, but they can certainly help make the best representations and employ persuasive arguments on your behalf to maximise your chances of a fair degree of compensation.
Ray Truman, managing partner of Truman Associates says “Presentation is everything – and if you know the rules of the game – you can get a higher score”.
Independent Loss Assessors can be helpful in helping you to make your insurance claim. For help and advice, contact Ray at Truman Associates via www.trumanassociates.co.uk