Weather and storm damage
Stormy weather is a feature of UK winters, with gales and wind damage costing around £300 million each year, according to the Met Office.
With storms like Ciara, Dennis and Jorge hitting the UK and costing millions in flood and wind damage, it's good to know what storm damage you’re covered for. It may not be as straightforward as you think.
Does home insurance cover storm damage?
If you have a buildings and contents insurance policy for your home, it will almost certainly cover some level of storm and weather damage.
This means if your home suffers storm and wind damage, your insurance provider should cover the cost of repairs. It’s likely that they’ll also be liable for providing a safe place to stay, should you have to leave your home while repair works are carried out.
What is storm and weather damage insurance?
Most standard home insurance policies offer some level of storm and wind damage cover, but there are a few exclusions to be aware of.
Fences, hedges and gates aren’t typically covered against storm damage, for example. Exclusions will vary though, so check your policy wording carefully to see exactly what is and isn’t covered.
What can I claim for after a storm?
Typically, your home insurance policy can cover the following issues resulting from hail, wind, rain, snow or ice:
- roof damage
- water damage
- wind damage
- sewer back-up
- frozen pipes
- damage caused by falling trees
- loss of power
You might not be covered for accidental damage on a standard home insurance policy. For example, if water enters your home through a poorly maintained roof.
Find out more about accidental damage insurance.
Proving storm damage for a claim
It’s worth noting that it can be tricky to prove storm damage. That’s because storms have an official definition when it comes to insurance. You might consider high winds and heavy rainfall to be stormy conditions, but your insurance provider may not agree. Some providers will use local weather-terminal data to assess the weather conditions at the time your home suffered storm or wind damage.
The Beaufort Scale states that “light structural damage”, such as tiles being blown from your roof, could occur at 47+ mph winds. But many insurance providers won’t consider it a storm unless winds reach 55+ mph. At this point, substantial structural wind damage is possible, according to the Beaufort Scale.
If you need to dispute whether the damage was caused by a “storm”, you could make a complaint and request the Financial Ombudsman to intervene where there’s an unresolvable claim dispute with your insurer.
What do I need to make an insurance claim?
Try to keep your insurance policy details handy. It’s important to contact your insurance provider as soon as you notice any storm, water or wind damage. Most providers have a 24-hour helpline for emergencies. But you may only be entitled to use this if you have home emergency cover.
Avoid moving anything or clearing up before you’ve taken photos of the storm damage to support your insurance claim. Where the damage is extensive, your home insurance provider will likely send someone out to assess the situation.
It’s helpful to have receipts or proof of purchase – a credit card statement, for example - for damaged items you wish to claim for. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t, but having them tends to make the process easier.
What can I do to protect my property?
If your home hasn’t been maintained, your insurance provider might not pay out for your claim. Here are a few simple things you can do, to protect your home and belongings:
- Check your pipes regularly and repair any leaks – no matter how small.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated.
- Keep your gutters intact and free from debris.
- Trim back any plants and trees growing near your property.
Plan ahead. If you know there’s a storm brewing, shut your windows and doors, store your garden furniture away and park your car somewhere safe to protect it from falling tiles or trees.
Find out more about garden cover.
What if I need to carry out emergency repairs?
If anything needs to be fixed urgently, you might not be able to wait for your insurance provider to arrange a repair. In this case, you’ll need to hire a professional to tackle the problem. Make sure you keep the receipt, to claim the cost back from your insurance provider at a later date.
Remember, it’s never worth cutting corners to find a cheaper tradesman. Any repair work that puts your home at further risk could end up costing you more in the long run.
How much does home insurance cost?
51% of people could achieve an annual buildings and contents insurance premium of up to
51% of people could achieve an annual contents insurance premium of up to
51% of people could achieve an annual buildings insurance premium of up to
 51% of our customers were quoted less than £150.58 for their buildings and contents home insurance in November 2022.
 51% of our customers were quoted less than £62.56 for their contents home insurance in November 2022.
 51% of our customers were quoted less than £120.84 for their buildings home insurance in November 2022.
What do I need to get a quote?
We can help you find the right insurance policy to suit your needs and budget. All we need is some information about you and your home. This would include information like the type of roof you have and your home’s rebuild value.
We’ll then provide you with a list of suitable quotes to choose from, in price order.
What our expert says...
“Having the right home insurance in place can give you peace of mind that any repair or rebuild costs can be taken care of, if your home suffers from storm damage."
“If you live in a high-risk flood area, or have a home that’s more prone to weather damage – a thatched cottage, for example – you may want to check your insurance policy to ensure it meets your needs, should any damage occur."
- Helen Phipps, Insurance expert
Why use Comparethemarket?
51% of customers could save up to £159 on their home insurance premium
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 Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during November, 2022. 51% of customers could achieve this saving on their Buildings and Contents insurance through Compare the Market.
 As of January 2023 Compare the Market had an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 23,670 people who left a review on Trustpilot. The score 4.8 corresponds to the Star Label ‘Excellent’.Start a quote
Frequently asked questions
What’s the rebuild value of my home?
The rebuild value is the amount it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch, if it was destroyed by fire, flood or a storm.
Read our handy guide: How do I calculate the rebuild cost of my home?, if you’re unsure about the rebuild value of your property.
What is flood insurance?
Flood insurance covers your home and its contents against water damage caused by flooding. Flood is usually included as standard with a buildings and contents combined policy, but you should check any policy wording and take out additional cover if necessary.
Can I get insurance if my home’s in a flood risk area?
Yes, you could get insurance, but you’ll likely pay a higher premium since your home is a riskier prospect to insure. You might also find that you’re limited in terms of insurance providers who are willing to offer you a policy.
What is Flood Re?
Flood Re is a scheme that works with insurance companies to help people living in flood risk areas find affordable insurance.
What if I can't live in my home?
If your home is uninhabitable, your insurance provider is likely to organise alternative accommodation for you. This is usually covered as standard on your home insurance policy. Double check with your insurance provider, if you’re unsure.
How do I claim if important personal documents have been damaged or destroyed?
Contact the company that originally issued the documents, to ask for copies. Prioritise things like your drivers’ licence (from the DVLA), insurance documents (from your insurance provider), passport (from the Government passport office) and household utility documents (from your utility providers).
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