Your home insurance covers you for sudden, unforeseeen events like bad weather and storms. Find out some of the common pitfalls to look out for when claiming for weather damage and what to look for on your policy.
For example, acts of nature are classed as storm damage, which is included on most buildings insurance policies.
But if an incident occurs as a result of the natural event - such as water damage from rain coming through a storm-damaged roof - your insurer might class this as accidental damage.
As accidental damage cover is often sold as an optional extra on home insurance, you might not be covered if you didn’t take this out too.
Here’s a list of incidents generally classed as weather damage:
Weather damage can be a contentious area for insurers and there are a few things to look out for when making a claim.
Your insurer might dispute whether a storm happened at all, whether the damage to your home was actually caused by a storm or whether the storm was the primary cause of damage.
Instead, it might suspect that lack of maintenance was the cause of the damage, or at least a contributing factor and refuse your claim in these grounds.
If you genuinely believe stormy weather was the cause of the damage, you should explain this to your insurer and send it any evidence you have, such as local weather reports.
High winds and heavy rain, snow or hail are all likely to be classed as stormy weather.
Your insurer can use the Beaufort Scale to help judge, but the wind speeds measured by weather stations can be different from your local conditions.
Most buildings insurance policies will cover you if a storm blows tiles off your well-maintained roof, as that’s clearly weather damage.
However, damage caused by rain coming through the gaps will likely require accidental damage cover.
Damage caused by large quantities of snow that has built up after the initial storm will be classified in the same way.
For peace of mind, you could buy an accidental damage policy, but you shouldn’t assume it’s included as standard with your home insurance.
Check your policy documents to find out how your insurer treats:
With howling winds and stormy weather happening more often, it's important to take extra safety precautions to protect your home. Fixing the damage caused by bad weather can cost up to a few thousand pounds or more so check what your home insurance covers if you find yourself in this situation. If your home is affected, record all details of the event - taking photos and videos can also be helpful, if it's safe to do so.
Ceri McMillan - GoCompare home insurance expert
Before a storm hits, secure your windows and doors, park your car away from trees (ideally in a garage) and put away any outdoor furniture, tools or ornaments.
As soon as you can, contact your insurer for advice.
If your home needs emergency repairs, arrange to have these done and just inform your insurer as soon as possible if you’re unable to contact it first – it won’t want your property to suffer further damage.
Keep all receipts from the repair work, as you’ll need these as proof if you make a claim on your home insurance.
 Last checked 16 December 2021