Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual urges people to make safety their top priority as it responds to what could be the worst storm to hit the country for up to three decades.
Speaking at midday on Friday, NFU Mutual Agent John Heather, who has offices in the Isle of Wight, Bournemouth and the New Forest, said:
“I’m on the Isle of Wight and we’re getting hit really hard at the moment. All the schools are shut, postmen are not working today on the island, we are receiving reports of trees coming down across the Island and roads are closed. The power is going out in some of the more rural locations. We’ve already had customers calling about damage caused by trees coming down. One has had a tree come through her roof, another has had a tree destroy her conservatory.
“We’re expecting to be inundated with calls and claims in the coming hours but we’re ready. Every member of the team across all our offices are taking calls. We’ve directed the phone lines to make sure everyone is picking them up as calls come through, and we’re also trying to make sure our vulnerable customers are dealt with as a priority.”
Speaking at 1pm on Friday, Mark Constable, Agent at NFU Mutual’s South Cotswolds Agency, said:
“We think the wind is only now reaching its peak in the local area, so expect to see a real surge in calls in the coming hours. We’ve had reports of roof damage to both houses and cars, including falling debris landing on vehicles. The smoking shelter at a local pub has taken off and damaged nearby property. Some walls have also collapsed, including one onto a road. Several trees have fallen, again causing road blockages.
“Despite the volume of claims expected, we want to reassure customers that their NFU Mutual agency is well prepared and stands ready to support with the local personal service they expect from us. In the meantime, we would urge everyone to make safety their number one priority.”
NFU Mutual has activated its emergency plan and stands ready to support customers who suffer at the hands of Storm Eunice. Agents and call centres will be available to assist customers who need emergency support and are doing all they can to progress claims as quickly as possible. NFU Mutual can also make immediate emergency payments and settle simpler claims on the spot.