Storms and floods: how to claim damages
The risk of blackouts or floods increases at some times of the year, such as summer, a period in which there are strong storms, with hail, which can cause damage to our homes or vehicles.
What can I claim if my car is swept away in a storm? Or if in my house a glass breaks by hail? What happens if a appliancebecause of a blackout? Can I claim the damages caused in the foods what was in the fridge? These are some of the questions that consumers ask themselves when these unforeseen events happen. In the following report we will try to answer these questions.
Insurance: coverage for damage to homes and vehicles
Our insurance policies, such as home, life or automobile can cover damage caused by a storm, snowfall or strong winds, It is convenient that check the conditions of your insurance of home or your vehicle to confirm what type of claims are covered by what you have contracted.
In the case of vehicles, as a general rule, insurance known as "Full of risk" cover this type of incidents, since they cover almost all personal and third-party damage caused to the vehicle. You should also check if your car insurance covers the windows, since they are more susceptible from being hit during storms.
In the case of home insurance, it is also convenient that you review your insurance policy, since on some occasions, covers food loss if you experience a blackout or power outage.
However, when a natural catastrophe occurs, considered a "extraordinary risk", the entity in charge of offering you compensation for the damages you may have suffered is the Insurance Compensation Consortium, not your insurance.
These “extraordinary risks” include natural phenomena such as strong winds, large storms or earthquakes; made of political character or social, such as terrorist attacks or rebellions; Y actions of the bodies and security forces of the state.
In order to receive this compensation from the Consortium, it is necessary have a policy, with any insurance company, in the categories of life, property or accident insurance:
- Damage to material goods. In order for the compensation policy to cover the material damage that may have been caused, the affected party must have taken out a policy that covers risks such as fire, theft, glass breakage...
- car damage. The contracted policy must include some type of coverage for damage to the vehicle itself. Since 2016, those policies that only cover civil liability are also valid.
- personal injury. In this case, the policy must cover the risk of accidents individually or in combination with others, as in the case of life insurance.
The types of risks that are legally considered "extraordinary risks" are detailed on the Consortium's page, and that, therefore, are likely to receive compensation for damages. Among others:
- natural phenomena: extraordinary flood, storm surge, atypical cyclonic storm (tornadoes and winds with gusts of over 120 km/h), earthquake, tidal wave, volcanic eruption, falling meteorites.
- violent acts as a consequence of terrorism, rebellion, sedition, riot or popular unrest.
- Performances of the Armed Forces or of the Security Forces and Corps in peacetime.
You can find more information about how apply for compensation for extraordinary risks in the Compensation Consortium.
Supply interruption: save tickets and invoices
Power outages are one of the most common problems that can happen during a severe storm. power companies are required to provide quality service, that is why when there is an interruption in supply you have the right to claim and receive compensation.
The interruptions that occur due to a storm are included within those considered unforeseen, which are all those interruptions greater than 3 minutes. They cannot exceed either in time or in number, certain values that depend on the area where they occur. Thus, for urban areas, they will not be able to exceed the 5 hours or 10 interruptions per year, while for rural areas it will be 19:22 p.m. or XNUMX:XNUMX p.m.
In the Community of Madrid, it is established that the supply companies, in the event of any incident, they must replenish the service within a maximum time of three hours when the incident affects the 70% of the users to whom it supplies electricity and six hours when the incident affects the 100% from them.
In the event that any of these values is exceeded, both in number and duration of the interruption, the company must apply a discount of up to a maximum of 10% on your annual bill, as well as compensation for damage caused to food or electronic devices as a result of a blackout.
If there has been damage to electrical appliances or if you have lost all the food in the refrigerator, you can make a claim and demand compensation for these damages. In that case, the electricity company has the right to verify that the damage was caused by the blackout.
Its convenient that keep all tickets or invoices of your appliances, as well as the documents that can prove the damage or loss.
In the event of having suffered damage as a result of a storm, you can:
- Send one letter to customer service of the supply company, providing a copy of all the documentation that can support the request for compensation.
- If no response is obtained or this is unsatisfactory, the user can put a claim on the Consumer Information Office closest to your home or General Directorate of Commerce, Consumption and Services Community of Madrid.
- In the case of your insurance, submit your claim to the customer service department or the insured person's advocate that must exist in the insurance company. This will answer your request within a period not exceeding two months. It is not binding, but is usually respected by insurers.
- If the response is not satisfactory or no response is received within two months, you can contact the Claims Service of the General Directorate of Insurance and Pension Funds. This organization has a term of four months for the resolution of the complaint. It is not binding, but is usually accepted by insurers.
If you want to apply for compensation to Insurance Compensation Consortium for damage caused by an extraordinary risk, you can do it by phone or through the Internet on its website.