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When a property suffers storm damage, some insurance companies are very stubborn in accepting that the roof damage was caused by the storm, sighting all manner of other causes such as wear and tear, nail rot, or pre-existing damage. It is also difficult for a claimant to disagree with any prognosis given by the loss adjuster, because the damage is so hard to access, as it is on the roof.

To prove to your UK insurer that the roof damage you’ve sustained is due to storm conditions, you’ll typically need to provide evidence and documentation to support your claim. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Document the Damage: Take clear photographs or videos of the roof damage as soon as it’s safe to do so. Capture multiple angles and close-up shots to show the extent of the damage if possible. These days, drone footage is becoming more available at lower cost or even free.
  2. Check Weather Reports: Gather weather reports or records from the time of the storm. This can include official reports from meteorological agencies or news outlets. Document any extreme weather conditions such as high winds, hail, or heavy rain that could have caused the damage.
  3. Witness Statements: If there were witnesses to the storm or the resulting damage, obtain their statements. Their accounts can help corroborate your claim and provide additional evidence.
  4. Roof Inspection Report: Have a professional roofer inspect the damage and provide a detailed report. The report should include their assessment of the cause of the damage and whether it’s consistent with storm conditions. Make sure to keep copies of this report for your records. Remember, the report of a professional roofing contractor will outweigh any comments that the loss adjuster or inspector makes, unless they are also a professional roofing contractor.
  5. Maintenance Records: Provide any maintenance records or documentation showing the condition of your roof prior to the storm. This can help demonstrate that the damage was not pre-existing and was indeed caused by the storm.
  6. Insurance Policy: Review your insurance policy to understand the coverage for storm damage and any specific requirements for filing a claim. Make sure you adhere to the procedures outlined in your policy.
  7. File a Claim Promptly: Notify your insurer of the damage as soon as possible and follow their claims process. Provide all the evidence and documentation you’ve gathered to support your claim.
  8. Cooperate with the Insurance Adjuster: Your insurer may send an adjuster to assess the damage. Cooperate with them and provide any additional information or documentation they request.

By providing thorough documentation and evidence, you can strengthen your case and improve the likelihood of your insurer accepting your claim for roof damage due to storm conditions.

What Defines Storm?

In the UK, storm conditions typically refer to severe weather events characterised by strong winds, heavy rain, hail, thunderstorms, or a combination of these factors. The definition of a storm may vary slightly depending on the insurance policy and the specific terms outlined by the insurer. However, here are some general criteria that often define storm conditions in the UK:

  1. Wind Speed: Storm conditions are often associated with high wind speeds. In the UK, winds exceeding a certain threshold are considered indicative of a storm. This threshold can vary, but typically winds of 50 miles per hour (mph) or higher are considered storm-force winds.
  2. Heavy Rain: Storm conditions may also involve heavy rainfall, leading to flooding and water damage.
  3. Hail: Hail is another characteristic of severe storms. Hailstones can cause significant damage to roofs, vehicles, and other property.
  4. Thunderstorms: Thunderstorms often accompany storms in the UK, bringing lightning, thunder, and sometimes hail and heavy rain.
  5. Meteorological Definition: Meteorological agencies such as the UK Met Office may issue storm warnings based on specific criteria related to wind speed, rainfall, and other factors.

The Association Of British Insurers have provided a definition of ‘Storm’ as follows:

Storms. What is it? …

A storm is a period of violent weather defined as: 

  • Wind speeds with gusts of at least 48 knots (55mph)* or; 
  • Torrential rainfall at a rate of at least 25mm per hour or; 
  • Snow to a depth of at least one foot (30 cm) in 24 hours or; 
  • Hail of such intensity that it causes damage to hard surfaces or breaks glass 

*Equivalent to Storm Force 10 on the Beaufort Scale. 

There are various websites whereby you can locate weather records for a specific date and weather station locations (the one nearest your home). Some of these websites charge for the service but be in no doubt that your insurance company will have carried out a search and you are very entitled to ask them for a copy.

Even if this search does not show storm conditions, this does not mean claim will not be paid – there may have been localised storm conditions in your area, but which did not affect the local weather station.

It’s essential to check your insurance policy for the exact definition of storm conditions and the coverage provided for damage caused by storms. Insurance policies may have specific terms and conditions regarding what constitutes a storm and what types of damage are covered under such conditions. If you’re unsure, you can contact your insurance provider for clarification.

If you would like to speak to an expert loss assessor about this or any other aspect of your claim, call our free Property Claim Helpline on 0800 002 5819, for a no obligation consultation.


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