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What to do if you’ve been affected by St Jude

What to do if you’ve been affected by St Jude

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 01/11/2013
First Published: 30/10/2013

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The storm that battered much of the midlands and southern England on Monday took its toll, with thousands of households being left without power, commuters being stranded and a huge number of homes suffering damage as a result of high winds, flooding and driving rain.

But just what can you do if you've been affected?

Make an insurance claim

Claiming on your home insurance will be at the top of the agenda, and luckily these policies have been specifically designed for just this type of occurrence. There should be no "act of God" get-out clauses and, if you've got a suitable level of cover, you should have no problem making a claim to help you get back to normality. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible – if you haven't yet started a claim, now's the time to do so.
  • Take photos or video footage of the damage to your property and/or its contents so you can show your insurance company – do this before you start the clean-up process.
  • Don't throw away any damaged possessions without discussing it with your insurance adviser, as they might need to asses the damage first-hand.
  • If necessary, book an appointment with a loss adjuster who will assess the damage (your insurance company will contact you if this is required).
  • You can arrange for repair work to be carried out straight away if it's to stop further damage, but make sure to contact your insurance company first, take photos and keep all receipts.
  • If you need to move out of your home, contact your insurer before you book a hotel as many will have arrangements for reduced rates.

And, if your home is still at risk of flooding, make sure to take all necessary precautions – keep valuables and electrical items upstairs or in high cupboards, store important documents in a watertight bag and make sure any outdoor furniture is safely restrained, thereby preventing adding to your claim.

Get compensation for gas and electricity cuts

You may not realise this, but if you've been without power for 24 hours or more as a result of the storm you could be entitled to compensation. The amount you could get will depend on how long the power cut lasted for, and you can get the process started by writing to your regional electricity or gas distributor with the reason and dates you were affected.

But, you should bear in mind that the regional distributor may not be the same as your usual energy provider – to find yours, consult the Energy Network Association.

Claim for travel disruption

Commuters that were left stranded with unusable (and often expensive) tickets will be pleased to hear that they can usually claim back the cost.

  • For train travel, just take your unused ticket to any ticket office to claim your refund or return it to the train company within 28 days.
  • For cancelled flights, you might be able to claim compensation or a refund although this isn't guaranteed – contact your travel provider for details.
  • With ferries, you should be able to claim a refund of the cost of your ticket and/or can get an alternative ferry crossing at no additional charge. Contact the ferry provider for more information.

What Next?

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.