Making a claim after the ‘Beast from the East’
March 6, 2018
As the snow gradually thaws, the whole country is feeling the aftermath of the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma. If you have suffered damage to your home or car, or if your travel plans were disrupted, you may be wondering if you can make a claim.
I need to make a claim for damage, what should I do first?
Check your policy: the first thing you need to do is check your full insurance policy (not just the summary) to see if you are covered for storm/snow damage. Some policies will exclude damage to fences, gates, hedges and garden furniture. Flooding may also be excluded if your home is in an area where this is likely to happen. If you have comprehensive car insurance, you are usually completely covered for any storm or snow-related damage. However, you should still check your insurance policy to make sure.
Notify your insurer: call your insurance company. It’s a good idea to take photographs and videos of the damage to show them. Give them details of the claim and request a claim form. Your insurer should give you advice on what to do next. For example, they may suggest you go ahead with emergency repairs. Double check that they will cover the cost of these repairs. Make sure you keep receipts for anything you pay for. For larger claims, such as a buildings claim on your home, you may want to hire an assessor.
Will I have to pay anything towards the damage?
Before making a claim, check the excess on your policy – this is the portion of any claim you have to pay yourself. The amount varies, but is generally between €100 and €300. You won’t be able to claim for amounts less than the excess.
If I make a claim, will my insurance premium increase next year?
Making a claim can lead to an increase in your premium when you next renew your policy. Depending on your policy, if you make a car insurance claim, you can lose your no-claims bonus. If the cost to fix the damage is low, consider whether it is worth making a claim, or whether it makes more sense to pay for the damage yourself.
My flight was cancelled, what should I do?
If your flight was cancelled due to the bad weather, the airline should have offered you a choice between the following:
- Re-routing as soon as possible
- Re-routing at a later date at your convenience
- A refund
It’s unlikely that you’ll be entitled to compensation, as flight cancellations and delays due to bad weather conditions are exempt under passenger rights legislation. More information can be found on flightrights.ie.
What about my accommodation costs?
If you have travel insurance, check your policy as you may be able to claim back some of the cost. If you booked through a travel agent, speak to them about the cancellation policy.
Travel insurance typically covers you against things like damaged or delayed luggage, cancelled flights, delayed or missed departure, loss or theft of money or passport, and illness or injury if you are travelling abroad. However, some policies do cover you for trips within Ireland. Some terms and conditions may apply, for example, your trip may have to involve more than one night’s accommodation. So you will need to read your insurance policy documentation to see if your trip would be covered.