Greater Manchester ‘tornado’ damage will be covered by property insurance – ABI

Damage caused by a “tornado” in Greater Manchester will be covered by standard property insurance policies, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said.

A “localised tornado” damaged around 100 properties in Greater Manchester as Storm Gerrit swept the country, with thousands of homes remaining without power and travellers likely to face continued disruption.

The ABI reassured people and businesses affected that insurers will be available to provide help and support.

Spokesman Malcolm Tarling said: “Insurers expect and are ready for any type of bad weather, such as tornado-force winds.

“When bad weather strikes, their priority is always to help and support their customers recover as quickly as practical. Anyone who has suffered damage should contact their insurer for advice.”

Winter weather Dec 28th 2023
A damaged property in Stalybridge, Tameside, Greater Manchester (Richard McCarthy/PA)

“Numerous reports” were made to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) at around 11.45pm on Wednesday, and the force declared a major incident due to the “severity” of the damage caused and the potential risk to public safety.

No injuries were reported but many residents were forced to leave their homes.

Anyone needing temporary emergency accommodation because their homes have been deemed unsafe should ask their insurer to arrange and pay for it.

They may also be able to make any emergency payments, the ABI said.

Insurance providers will arrange an inspection of damage once it is safe to do so.

For businesses, commercial policies will cover storm damage, and some may cover the cost of hiring any alternative temporary trading premises while a damaged premises is being repaired.

Comprehensive motor insurance also covers storm damage.

The ABI warned those affected not to put themselves at risk by attempting to check the damage, and to follow the advice of the local authority and emergency services.