Insurance claims for storm damage could run into several millions

In the aftermath of Sunday's storm, people have been counting the damage caused to their property

The Malta Football Association reported extensive damage oin its facilities
The Malta Football Association reported extensive damage oin its facilities

Insurance claims for damage caused by Sunday’s storm could run into several millions but an accurate estimate will not be available for weeks, an industry representative said.

Adrian Galea, director general of the Malta Insurance Association, said it was too early to quantify the extent of claims because there was a lengthy evaluation process.

“Every insurance claim is evaluated on its own merits and people would be collecting quotations and in some instances waiting for the surveyor to assess the damage, so it will be some time before the industry can quantify the cost but I believe it would run into several millions,” Galea said.

The hail storms of 2013 and 2015, which caused damage to vehicles because of the sheer size of the ice that dropped from the sky, ended up with insurance companies footing a bill of between €10 million and €11 million.

“This weekend’s storm had a bit of everything and caused damage to vehicles, property, businesses and boats,” Galea said.

He debunked the perception that such events, known in popular jargon as acts of God, are not covered by insurance.

“There is no such thing as an act of God but it all depends on what type of policy the individual would have taken out,” Galea said.

A comprehensive insurance policy would cover damage caused to a car by a falling tree, he added but one cannot expect to be compensated if the policy taken out only covers third party damage.

In the aftermath of the storm, people have been counting the damage caused to their property.

From destroyed food kiosks to flooded apartment blocks, from felled trees to damaged cars, no part of the island was sparred.

Sources within the insurance industry have lifted the lid on the extent of some of the damages incurred by clients.

A property in the south of Malta had a rubble wall pulled down by a fallen tree with costs expected to surpass €3,000. Solar panels in various localities also fell victim to the stormy weather, some causing damage to third parties when they dislodged from rooftops.

Businesses, especially in seaside localities also lodged claims for damages incurred from the strong waves that battered the coastline.

Weather damage was also visible at the Malta Football Association’s Centenary Stadium in Ta’ Qali and the adjacent training grounds. Part of the canopy at the stadium and the perimeter fence were damaged significantly.

Even the Addolorata cemetery got a battering. Large Norfolk and Aleppo pines at the public cemetery were uprooted, damaging footpaths and graves.

Government has meanwhile set in motion the mechanism to try and tap EU emergency funds and set up an emergency phone number for farmers and fishers who suffered significant damage to their livelihood.

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