Storm Franklin: Can I claim on my insurance and what do I do if my home as been damaged?

High winds have brought down trees and damaged property. Credit: PA

Storm Franklin swept into the UK just days after Storm Eunice lashed the country, bringing recording-breaking winds, lashing rain, snow and sleet to all parts.

There were several flood alerts in place across the country, including rare danger to life warnings.

It is the third named storm of the week and has caused further disruption and damage to places that have not had a chance to clear up after Storm Eunice.

The fierce winds brought down trees, damaging homes and businesses, while power cuts and flooding have affected many regions.

If you are affected by Storm Franklin, Eunice or Dudley, will your insurance cover any damage? And how can you claim?

Will my insurance cover Storm Eunice or Storm Franklin damage?

Damage to your home is usually covered by your home or buildings insurance policy, but policies do vary and it is important you read the small print.

Insurance companies typically categorises winds of over a 55mph to be a storm. With gusts of up to 90mph, Storm Eunice definitely passes the first test. But, damage sustained during, what insurers call "an unusual weather event", does not mean your claim will be accepted by your provider.

Insurance company, Aviva said customers should check their buildings and contents insurance policies, but most will cover damage caused by storms. 

A fallen branch on a car in a car park in Lyme Regis, west Dorset. Credit: PA

Typical storm claims include:

  • Tiles or slates dislodged or missing

  • Entire felt roofs lifted off

  • Ridge or hip tiles missing or dislodged

  • Damage caused by fallen trees

  • Water damage inside your home

Customers should check their policy wording as there are some things that may not be covered for storm damage, such as damage to fences, hedges and gates, Aviva  said. Policies will not cover damage which is longstanding or due to maintenance issues, such as:

  • Cement or mortar deterioration on brickwork and chimneys

  • Failed render on the building exterior

  • Gradual deterioration to any part of the roof or building

  • Aged flat roofs

Home insurance policies should also cover alternative accommodation should the damage be severe enough you need to leave your house.

Before the storm hits, have contact details of your home insurer to hand, along with other emergency contact numbers for your utility providers.

What do I do if my home has been damaged by Storm Eunice or Storm Franklin?

Home insurance policies can include emergency repairs. This must be arranged through the insurance company and organised as soon as possible (many of them have 24-hour hotlines) to stop the damage getting worse.

  • Call your insurance provider as soon as possible

  • Take photos of the damage and make notes. It may help with the settlement of claims

  • Keep everything, even if it is damaged (for example, roof tiles). Your insurer may want to see it

  • If you policy does not include emergency repair and you need to call someone out urgently, keep hold of the receipts to give to your insurer later

  • Cover a damaged roof with plastic sheet or tarpaulin to temporarily repair only if it is safe to do (do not attempt this in high winds)

You will often need to provide evidence of the condition of your home before it was damaged and prove that, for example, the broken roof tiles were the result of storm damage and not due to general wear and tear before the storm hit.

A tree blown over on Egloshaye Road in Wadebridge, north Cornwall. Credit: PA

What is not covered in an insurance policy

This will vary from policy to policy, so do check yours closely.

Insurance policies do not usually include damage to garden furniture (unless specifically added (garden cover is available as a separate cover), gates, fences, sheds or outbuildings.

What if my neighbour's house was damaged due to debris from my property?

You may be covered on your insurance, or your neighbour may be able to claim for any damage caused by something coming loose from your house or garden. Again, it would be depend on the circumstances; if it was a roof tile that was already loose, your claim is likely to be invalid.

Will my home insurance cover damage to my car?

No. Car insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by storms, for example, if a tree falls on it.