After a storm, it often gets expensive: Who pays for the storm damage that has occurred in private households and who reimburses the costs if you miss your train or plane?

Damage to the house, broken trees in the driveway, damaged cars: which insurance company actually pays for which damage? Insured persons should report severe weather damage to their insurer immediately. A lot of damage to houses or cars is covered, but those affected must follow a few rules. Refunds are also available in the event of delays in travel. An overview.

Storm damage on and in the house

Building insurance covers damage to the house caused by storms, such as fallen trees or wind-blown roofs. According to the Association of Insureds, it also pays for consequential damage, for example if rain penetrates through the storm-damaged roof or broken windows and walls or floors are damaged. In the case of flooded cellars, what is known as elementary damage insurance is required.

Damage to household items, such as damaged furniture, is usually covered by household contents insurance. However, if the damage is caused by flooding, additional protection against natural hazards is also required here, as stated by 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 the General Association of the German Insurance Industry explains. In principle, consumer advocates advise those affected in all cases to inform the insurer as quickly as possible and to draw up a damage list, if possible with photos. The strength of the storm must also be proven, for example through wind measurements from the weather offices or reports from the local newspaper.

Who pays for damage to the car?

In the event of damage to the car, the owner usually has partial or full insurance. However, the replacement value is not insured, but usually 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 comprehensive insurance is responsible – at a wind speed of at least 74.5 kilometers per hour, as Gothaer Versicherung states. Fully comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, is independent of the wind force. It also applies if a driver drives into a fallen tree and the damage is self-inflicted. If you only have liability insurance, you have to settle your own damage.

Air and rail traffic: assistance and refunds possible

For flights of up to 1500 kilometers, passengers are entitled to care services from a delay of two hours – i.e. telephone calls, drinks, meals and, if necessary, an overnight stay in a hotel. For a distance of 1500 to 3500 kilometers there is support after three hours, from 3500 kilometers after four hours.

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

The arrival time at the destination is decisive: If the first train is only five minutes late and a rail customer arrives at the destination more than an hour later due to a missed connecting train, he 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.