the right reflexes to be compensated by your insurance


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Roofs torn off, vehicles bogged down, housing flooded… Following the damage caused by the recent torrential rains in the South of France, the municipalities affected by these bad weather will soon be recognized as being in a state of natural disaster. To be properly compensated, the victims must complete certain procedures.

Violent winds and record rains have hit the Gard for several days and caused a lot of damage for those who live in the region. Material damage caused by bad weather is one of the risks covered by car insurance or multi-risk home insurance within the limits and conditions of the insurance contracts that have been taken out. And this, whether the victim is a tenant or an owner.

In addition to the “storm” guarantee which makes it possible to indemnify in particular the damage caused by the wind on real estate, furniture and valuables, damage following a flood, a mudslide or a landslide does not give only give rise to compensation if the event is declared a “natural disaster”. On this point, government spokesman Gabriel Attal, leaving the Council of Ministers on Wednesday September 15, assured that the state of natural disaster was going to be triggered in the Gard in particular, in order to support all the victims.

Report the claim to your insurer

While the victims have 5 days to declare their claim under the storm guarantee, this period is extended to 10 days in the municipalities where the state of natural disaster has been recognized.

As soon as possible, the victim must take all the necessary measures to avoid the aggravation of the damage (have the roof covered, shelter the threatened furniture, etc.) and contact his insurance without delay by any means (telephone, email , SMS, Internet, etc.). He can also start building his file, taking photos and videos of the damage and collecting, if possible, the invoices for the various damaged items.

Once the elements have been gathered, the victim must send their file by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt. It is also important to keep damaged objects until the visit of the expert. To start repair work without waiting for his arrival, it is best to first consult the insurer.

What damage and damages are covered

When the state of natural disaster is declared, the goods covered by the insurance will then be compensated if the damage is directly linked to the disaster and within the limit of the guarantee ceilings provided for in the victim’s contract. On the other hand, the so-called “indirect” costs (rehousing costs, loss of use of property, etc.) remain the responsibility of the claimant, unless otherwise indicated in your contract.

“For example, the loss of the contents of a freezer following a power cut is not compensable even if the cut is the consequence of the disaster”, explains the association UFC-Que Choisir. On the other hand, if the freezer was submerged, following a flood, its contents are compensable.

Compensation within three months

Except in cases of force majeure (for example, as long as the decline has not made it possible to carry out the expertise), the insurers have 3 months to compensate the victims following the delivery of the estimated statement of losses or the date of publication of the decree in the Official Journal. So don’t waste time.

Depending on the extent of the damage, an expert will come to assess the damage. The amount of compensation will depend on the contract. Some provide for replacement value reimbursements, others apply obsolescence coefficients. However, a deductible of 380 euros for homes, vehicles and goods for non-professional use remains the responsibility of the insured. Its amount even increases to 1,520 euros if the disaster is linked to drought or soil rehydration.

If the amount proposed by the insurer seems too low, the claimant can call on his own expert. Some high-end insurance contracts provide for the payment of these costs.

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