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Living & property

Stormy times

The wind can be incredibly strong, and people are often helplessly at its mercy. But you can prepare yourself for potential storm damage – which at least limits the financial loss.

30 October 2018, author: Mirjam Arnold, photo: Helvetia

The picture shows a woman holding an umbrella. But the umbrella has been broken by the strong wind.
In the event of a storm, there are several safety precautions that you should take before seeking shelter indoors.

In the event of a storm, we like to retreat into the protection of our four walls, the plan being to wait it out in safety until the weather improves. Outside, meanwhile, roof tiles flying around in the wind and other loose objects pose a danger; depending on the strength of the wind, falling trees may also become a problem. Defined as winds at speeds of 75 km/h or above, storms are one of the natural forces covered by insurance. 

Well prepared ahead of the storm

A weather alert on your mobile phone warns that there are strong winds and a storm coming. To prevent damage and accidents, there are several safety precautions that you should take whenever a storm is announced:

  • Secure or pack away loose objects and garden furniture
  • Put away potted plants and toys
  • Close windows and doors
  • Retract solar blinds and pull up window blinds
  • Put vehicles in the garage

At regular intervals, roofs, building façades, windows and blinds should also be checked by experts in order to prevent them from becoming faulty. 

Household contents insurance

If damage nevertheless occurs, household contents insurance covers damage to household contents caused by natural forces. Household contents include all personal moveables as well as pets. Household contents are insured at the location given when the insurance is taken out and stated on the policy. The individual items may be in the house, in a garden shed on the same property or in the garage. 

Supplement for the building surroundings

The building surroundings (plants or swimming pools, for example) can be included in the household contents by adding supplementary cover. It is important to know that the contents of the garden shed are insured along with the household contents. The garden shed itself, however, needs to be included in the supplementary building surroundings insurance. If it is located on a different property, you will have to take out a separate insurance policy for it.

Damage to the building

If the building is damaged, the buildings insurance steps in. In the industry jargon, this is called «damage caused by natural forces». It also includes storm damage. Insurance against damage caused by natural forces covers the cost of the damage. It is important for the owners to have the building regularly appraised so that they do not find themselves under-insured.

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