What is the definition of a storm in the eyes of the insurer?

Have you suffered storm damage to your property and want to make an insurance claim – will insurers pay if you have had damage to your property just because of strong wind?

If you suffer significant damage to your property from strong wind, it would be usual to consider making an insurance claim to cover the cost of repairs. When you lodge a claim with the insurer they will likely check with the Met Office to see if a storm has actually been recorded for your area. If there has been no storm recorded then it is unlikely the insurer will pay the claim. You need to be aware though that the definition of a storm is winds in excess of 47mph. Anything less is not a storm and would not be classed as storm damage under the terms of the policy.

So, the definition of a storm, is wind in excess of 47mph. If you suffer damage to your roof following high wind (not a storm), it is more likely that the winds have merely highlighted existing defects with the roof that were there already. Many claims for damage to roofing come under this category. Often a roof can leak unnoticed over a period of many months or years, weakening the structure and making it more susceptible to damage from high wind. When the wind does come, it causes damage to the already damaged roof and this is exacerbated due to the pre-existing damage. This will not be covered by an insurer under the perils of storm damage.

Cracked roof tiles or even missing tiles are often the culprit for a leaking roof and the gradual letting in of rainwater will inevitable cause your roof timbers to rot over a period of time. It is essential to replace cracked or missing tiles straight away in order to minimise damage to your roof and keep it in good, watertight condition.  This will reduce your chances of storm damage to your property.

Water damage to the flat roof

A common insurance claim is for damage to a flat felt roof, and the subsequent damage caused to the ceiling below and the contents in the property. A flat felt roof has a certain useful shelf life and once it has passed, the roof will almost certainly let in water and be more likely to suffer damage from the elements. If the roof is in poor condition, the insurer will be less likely to accept a claim, or at least ask for a contribution from the policyholder. It is beneficial to have all of the roofs including flat roofs in your property checked by a roofing contractor periodically to ensure your property is kept in the best possible condition.


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