Zurich insurance claims soar after week of three storms

ZURICH saw calls to its claims handlers almost double in the days after three storms hit the UK.

Staff at the Swindon-based insurance giant have been inundated with claims for damages after damaged roofs, walls and verandas suffered the brunt of high winds from storms Dennis, Eunice and Franklin.

Claims adjuster Claire Varney said: “With three storms hitting the UK in a matter of days, our claims handlers have been working extremely hard, including over the weekend, to support customers.

“On Monday alone, we saw an 85% increase in call volume compared to the same day the previous week.

“The vast majority of claims we see come from the South West, Wales, South East and London, and relate to minor damage to homes and businesses, including general damage to roofs, walls, to gutters and verandas.”

The company has suggested some tips for those considering filing a claim.

They are:

• Don’t do anything that could endanger you or your family.

• Speak to your insurer as soon as possible to report the loss.

• Take digital photos of the damage, which can help insurers assess the claim faster.

• Your insurer will ask you a few questions: what happened, what was damaged, what were the weather conditions and is your property waterproof?

• If your property is not watertight, let your insurer know so they can arrange temporary repairs to prevent further damage – and if you have already done so, keep all receipts as this will form part of your complaint

• Do not rush to throw away damaged items, unless they pose a health hazard, as they can be repaired or restored.

• Depending on what happened, your insurer will work with you to decide how best to restore your property or repair, restore or replace the damaged items.

Claire added: “The country has already been hit by seven storms this winter, highlighting the need for everyone to prepare for more frequent extreme weather amid our changing climate.

“We are already responding to the challenge by finding new ways to support our customers.

“For example, we recently launched a rebuilding program to help flood-affected homeowners improve the resilience of their homes to future floods. We have introduced a free advice service for people affected by weather events and we are are associated with AirBnB to increase the offer of alternative accommodation available to people temporarily forced to leave their accommodation.

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