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Car insurance and storm damage

Does your car insurance cover you for storm damage?

Everything you need to know about whether your car insurance covers damage after a storm and how to claim if your car is affected

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 12 June 2020

Driving in bad weather

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Storms are a potential hazard to your car, but if you have the right car insurance policy then you will likely be covered for damage caused by extreme weather conditions.

Does my car insurance cover storm damage?

If you have a fully comprehensive policy then you are likely to be covered for damage to your car after a storm. It’s worth checking your policy documents for any exclusions, such as driving through flooded roads.

Only fully comprehensive car insurance policies will offer storm damage cover, so if you have a third-party or a third-party, fire and theft policy, then it’s unlikely you will be able to make a claim. These types of policies only pay out for damage to other peoples’ cars, or if your car was damaged because of fire or theft.

If your car has been damaged by someone else’s property, for example a roof tile or a tree in their garden falling on it, you may be able to claim the cost of repair or replacing your car against their policy, or your own fully comprehensive cover.

What counts as a storm?

Storm damage is when your car sustains damage as a direct result of extreme bad weather. Storms are typically defined as periods of weather with violent winds, often with heavy falls of rain, snow or hail, though these on their own could also be classed as storms.  

During a storm try and park your car away from trees and ideally in a garage to protect it from water or hail damage.

Will I be covered if my car is hit by an object?

A fully comprehensive policy should cover you if your car is damaged from flying or falling debris, such as a roof tile or a tree. Make sure you don’t remove the debris until you have photographic evidence of the damage or your insurer tells you it’s fine to do so.

If your car is damaged a larger object, such as a tree falling onto it, seek professional help to get it removed.

What about flood damage?

Flood damage is serious for cars. Water can get into the engine or the electrics may fail, alongside potential for rusting or damage to the upholstery. If you think your car may have sustained water damage, do not turn on the engine.

Some car insurance policies will not cover you if your car is flood damaged because you drove it through a flood or water-laden road. This is because insurers could see this as avoidable, and therefore you have been negligent by driving your car through water.

How do I claim for storm damage to my car?

If your car has been damaged after a storm and you want to claim on your insurance, then contact your insurer as soon as possible after the storm has occurred. Make sure you have your insurer’s helpline number and your own policy number to hand.

Where you can, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, both inside and out. If it’s valid, you may also want to ask your insurer about getting any temporary repairs to stop the damage worsening, but make sure they are happy for you to proceed otherwise you may invalidate your claim.

Will claiming for storm damage increase my car insurance costs?

If you claim on your insurance because of storm damage, you may have to pay for the excess on your policy. Your premiums may also go up slightly after making a claim, or you may lose any no claims bonus though some insurers protect this in the event of storm damage.

Storm damage often falls under the ‘at-fault’ category on claims, as it is considered an act of nature. So your insurer won’t be able to claim the costs against another driver at fault, as they might if you were in an accident.

How can I get storm damage cover?

You can compare car insurance quotes on MoneySuperMarket in a matter of minutes. Just pop in a few details about yourself and your vehicle and once you’ve found the deal you want you can apply direct to the provider in just a couple of clicks. If you want to ensure your car is covered for storm damage, look at fully comprehensive policies, and if you require further information, contact the provider before buying your policy.