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Storm and storms: Which insurance pays for damage? | > – Guide

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Storm and storms: Which insurance pays for damage?  |  > – Guide

Status: 06/21/2023 10:14 a.m

A storm covers the roof, a tree falls on the car, the basement fills up during heavy rain: the consequences of a storm can be expensive. Which insurance covers which damage?

When storms or other storms cause damage to homes and vehicles, it can be expensive. But if you take out adequate insurance in good time, at least you don’t have to fear the financial consequences. There is no universal insurance against storm damage, several types of insurance share the risks. Tenants should take out household contents insurance, while house or apartment owners also need residential buildings insurance. Partial or fully comprehensive insurance covers damage to vehicles.

When does household contents insurance pay?

Household contents insurance reimburses damage to movable property caused by storms, fire, lightning or tap water: furniture, carpets, technical equipment, clothing or garden tools. Everything that is damaged in the apartment and in the basement is insured. This usually does not apply to objects that have been outdoors, such as on the terrace or balcony. If water damage occurs because you forgot to close a window, the insurance company will not step in.

If so-called overvoltage in the power supply damages electrical devices, this is not insured in some standard policies. The Federation of Insureds therefore advises carefully examining and comparing the insurance conditions before taking out a policy.

What to do in case of damage?

– Notify your insurance company immediately.
– Talk to the insurance company before repairing any damage.
– Try to limit the damage, for example by taking objects out of the water.
– Document the damage, take photos or video recordings.
– Make a list of damaged items.

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When does homeowners insurance pay?

Residential building insurance covers damage to the house or roof caused by storm, hail, fire, lightning or tap water. However, most insurers only recognize damage caused by a storm with at least wind force 8 (speed from 62 km/h). If the wind partially covers the roof and rainwater damages walls and ceilings, this is also insured. Depending on the policy, even damage to garden sheds and carports is included.

If lightning strikes and causes a fire, the insurance company must also pay. The policy should also include the cost of removing fallen trees. However, if water flows into the house from a river or surface water flows in from the street, for example, this is not covered by the residential building insurance.

Water: Insurance against natural hazards necessary

Floods are considered elementary damage that must be insured separately.

If water runs into the basement or the house, household contents insurance will also decline. It does not pay for damage caused by so-called surface water, including rainwater or rivers and streams that overflow their banks. This also applies if dirty water from the sewage system presses into the house. For such cases, there is elementary damage insurance in addition to residential building or household contents insurance.

Damage caused by landslides, avalanches, snow pressure or earthquakes are also referred to as elementary damage. Insurers can refuse natural hazard insurance if they think the risk is too high – for example, if a house is on a river that regularly overflows its banks.

Stiftung Warentest points out that supplementary insurance for natural hazards is becoming increasingly important, as experts expect an increase in severe storms with heavy rain. There are sometimes enormous differences in the individual tariffs, so consumers should definitely compare tariffs carefully.

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Private liability insurance pays to third parties

Private liability insurance, one of the most important types of insurance, can also be responsible for storm damage. For example, if the storm tears a flower box off the balcony and hits a passer-by, the owner’s insurance company pays the injured party. This also applies if a garden owner’s tree crashes into the neighbor’s car or fence. In multi-family houses, the landowner’s liability insurance takes over the settlement of the damage.

Partial and fully comprehensive cover pay for damage to the car

In the case of damage caused by fallen trees, only fully comprehensive insurance pays in any case.

In the event of storm and hail damage to the car, the partially comprehensive insurance comes into play. However, the prerequisite for most insurers is a wind force of at least 8. A comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, jumps in regardless of the wind force. It also applies if the damage is self-inflicted, for example because the driver crashed into a fallen tree. In general, however, it is not the replacement value that is insured, but only the current value of the car.

Damage settlement in the event of water damage to parked cars is also carried out using partial comprehensive insurance. However, she can refuse to pay if the car is not removed from a flooded area in time, although it could have been. If engine damage occurs when driving through a flooded road, the partially comprehensive insurance only pays out if the flooding occurred very suddenly. Fully comprehensive insurance can also reject the regulation due to gross negligence.

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Conclusion of the contract: check benefits and amounts insured

As with all insurance, there are significant price differences between household and residential building policies. The experts from the Association of Insureds advise not to choose the cheapest insurance without further examination. More important than the price is that the required services are actually insured and are not excluded in the small print. The sums insured for certain insured risks also play an important role when concluding a contract.

Further information

In northern Germany there were thunderstorms and heavy rain on Wednesday night. The Oldenburger Land was particularly affected. more

Cell broadcast and apps like NINA and KATWARN warn of dangers such as storms. What do they report and how do they work? more

Here you will find the current weather and forecast for all of northern Germany. more

Wind strength is measured in Beaufort. The storm scale ranges from calm to hurricane. Our picture gallery reveals how the individual stages differ. picture gallery

This topic in the program:

NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Current | 06/21/2023 | 09:00 a.m

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