Storm damage: which insurance pays for what

storm damage
After the hurricane: which insurer pays what

storm damage insurance

Building insurance usually pays for storm damage to the house, pictured after storm “Ylenia” in February 2022 in Hamburg.

© rtn, frank bründel/ / Picture Alliance

After a storm, it often gets expensive: Who pays for storm damage to private homes, and who reimburses the costs if you miss the train or plane?

Home damage, broken trees in the driveway, damaged cars – which insurance company really pays for what damages? Insured persons should immediately report severe weather damage to their insurer. Many damages to houses or automobiles are covered, but those affected must follow some rules. Refunds are also available in the event of travel delays. A general vision.

Storm damage on and inside the house

Building insurance covers damage to the home caused by storms, such as downed trees or roofs blown off by the wind. According to the Association of Insureds, it also pays for consequential damages, for example, if rain penetrates through a storm-damaged roof or windows are broken and walls or floors are damaged. In the case of flooded basements, what is known as elemental damage insurance is necessary.

Damage to household items, such as damaged furniture, is usually covered by household items insurance. However, if the damage is caused by a flood, additional protection against natural hazards is also required here, as stated by the Gothaer Versicherung.

Storm damage is generally covered from wind force eight, which corresponds to a wind speed of more than 62 kilometers per hour, as explained by the General Association of the German Insurance Industry. In principle, consumer advocates advise those affected to inform the insurer as soon as possible in all cases and draw up a list of damages, if possible with photos. The strength of the storm must also be tested, for example through wind measurements from meteorological offices or local newspaper reports.

Who pays for car damage?

In case of damage to the car, the owner usually has partial or full insurance. However, the replacement value is not insured, but generally only the current value of the car. If, for example, a brick falls on a parked car during a storm, according to consumer advocates, partial coverage is responsible, with a wind speed of at least 74.5 kilometers per hour, according to Gothaer Versicherung.
Comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, is independent of the strength of the wind. It also applies if a driver hits a fallen tree and the damage is self-inflicted. If you only have liability insurance, you must pay your own damages.

Air and rail traffic: assistance and possible reimbursements

For flights up to 1,500 kilometers, passengers are entitled to care services after a delay of two hours or more, that is, telephone calls, drinks, meals and, if necessary, an overnight stay in a hotel. For a distance of 1,500 to 3,500 kilometers there is support after three hours, for 3,500 kilometers after four hours.

Even if a delay is anticipated, passengers should always be at the airport at the original departure time. Otherwise, there is a risk that the airline may offer a replacement flight sooner, and the traveler will miss it. Train passengers can get a partial fare refund in case of delays. A passenger can request a 25 percent fare refund if the delay is more than 60 minutes. If the trip lasts more than two hours, he is entitled to half the fare paid.

The time of arrival at the destination is decisive: if the first train is only five minutes late and a rail customer arrives at their destination more than an hour later due to a missed connecting train, they will receive compensation. If a delay of 20 minutes is expected at the destination station, the passenger can take another train, even a higher quality one.


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