How big is hail? Farmer takes insurance company to court over storm damage

Photo:  Ingrid ‏@BorstgevoedNL  via Twitter
Three of June’s giant hailstones. Photo: Ingrid @BorstgevoedNL via Twitter

A Dutch pig farmer is taking insurance company Interpolis Achmea to court because it won’t pay for damages caused by last year’s giant hailstone shower even though he has storm cover.

The storm which swept over Noord-Brabant and Limburg at the end of June caused hundreds of millions of euros worth of damage. This was partly due to the giant hailstones which fell in some places, smashing roofs and glass houses.

Although many of the farmers concerned had storm damage insurance, they did not specify damage caused by hailstones and in many cases, insurers are refusing to pay out.

The farmer at the centre of the court case did not have specific cover because ‘in the Netherlands, we are not used to hail which smashes a roof to pieces,’ lawyer Guido Goorts told the Volkskrant.

Rare weather

Aegon and ASR are also refusing to pay out for hail damage, Goorts said.

He hopes that the court will accept that his client was the victim of a rare weather phenomenon, a super-cell, which is similar to a tornado but which also produces giant hailstones.

He points out that the Interpolis policy describes hail as ‘grains of ice’ not solid ice balls, as fell in June.

The court will hear the case on January 18.

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