High Rise Damage After Hurricane Bertha – How To Make A Successful Claim

High Rise Damage After Hurricane Bertha – How To Make A Successful Claim

11th August 2014

Hurricane Bertha has played havoc in the UK, sweeping across the land, releasing lashing rain and gale force winds that have well and truly battered Britain.  After so many weeks of brilliant sunshine, who would have guessed that August would bring such adverse weather conditions? 

So, where did Hurricane Bertha come from – hurricanes don’t just appear out of the blue, they have to build up somehow.  Hurricanes are tropical cyclones which usually form over a large body of reasonably warm water.  Their energy comes from the evaporation of water from the surface of the sea.  This then recondenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises high enough to cool to saturation point.  Most of these cyclones form over warm, tropical seas – hence their name.

As well as bringing strong winds and rain, tropical cyclones like Bertha can result in high waves, storm surges and tornadoes.  Once one of these tropical cyclones hits land, they are cut off from their primary source of energy (the sea) and tend to dissipate quite rapidly.  This means that our coastal regions are most at risk from this type of storm – we saw this last winter with coastlines all around the UK bearing the brunt of the harsh winter storms.

This type of severe weather will leave all sorts of damage in its wake and residents across the UK will be looking at clearing up the debris in their gardens (and sometimes their homes).  The strong winds may have caused damage to roofs, aerials, trees and other tall structures which means we’ll be seeing loads of people on ladders during the coming weeks as Bertha’s damage is put right.

Many home and business owners will have insurance that covers storm damage to both premises and vehicles, but making a claim can be a daunting task.  While you might be tempted to cover up or repair any unsightly damage in the immediate aftermath of the storm, you’d be wise to delay this for a while.   There are some issues to consider that will help you make a successful claim with your insurance company.

If your property has suffered storm damage, don’t put yourself or others at risk by trying to repair something that should be repaired by a professional tradesman.  This is especially important if there are reports of more bad weather to come.  

Check your insurance policy to make sure you know which insurance cover applies and if there are exceptions.

Contact your insurer immediately and make sure you have your policy documents ready to refer to.  Most insurers will have a 24 hour helpline to deal with an influx of calls and talk users through the claims process.

If your property has been flooded, then turn off gas, electricity and water at the mains.  Flooding can continue to be a problem for days after the rain or deluge and you may have to move to the upper levels of the house until the flooding subsides.

Take photos of all of the damage to provide your insurer with evidence that should help you make a successful claim.  Check with your insurer before employing a contractor to do the repairs and make sure you keep all of the receipts for both work and materials.