herald

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Insurers to pay out for storm damage as claims expected to be as high as €800m

Cars drive along flooded roads during yesterday’s storm
Cars drive along flooded roads during yesterday’s storm

Insurance companies have confirmed that household and motor policies will cover storm-related damage and are braced for claims that could be worth up to €800m.

However, there are fears that home insurance premiums will rise if there is a large number of hefty claims.

Householders had feared that insurers would claim the impact of Ophelia was an "act of God" and refuse to pay out.

However, Insurance Ireland, the umbrella body for the industry, said motor insurance cover will operate as normal.

Household buildings and contents insurance policies will cover damage caused by storms.

"This is not impacted by the weather conditions," a spokesman said. Damage to cars caused by the storm is covered by comprehen- sive motor insurance policies.

Receipts

Third party, fire and theft policies cover motorists for damage to other cars in the event of an accident, injury to other people or damage to your car in the event of a fire or theft.

Insurers will usually pay for the cost of temporary repairs, the insurance representative body said.

Householders were advised to keep receipts.

A spokesman said: "Insurers will also usually pay for the cost of alternative accommodation if the home becomes uninhabitable."

Householders were told to check the full extent of their policies and contact their insurer or broker after the event if there was damage.

Insurance Ireland boss Kevin Thompson said insurers had paid out €1.3bn in storm-damage claims in the past three years.

However, insurance experts warned that a high cost of claims is likely to prompt a rise in motor and home premiums.

Jonathan Hehir, the managing director of brokerage Coverinaclick.ie, warned that premiums on home insurance may rise if there was a high volume and high cost of claims.

"If there are a lot of claims, that potentially could see premiums going up, especially on the household side if there are floods," he said.

He added that insurers may reject claims if people did something unwise, such as driving through six feet of water during a flood.

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