A man who lost his sunroom when Storm Eunice and Storm Franklin hit the country is now battling his insurance company, which told him it wouldn’t pay because the sunroom was ‘just old’.
Haydn Haynes has lived in his hillside home in Trevelgue Road in Porth outside Newquay for the past three years and his conservatory has withstood all the winter storms the Atlantic has thrown at Cornwall’s north coast without even a single window slamming in their frames.
When Eunice and Franklin crossed Cornwall and Devon, with wind gusts recorded at 100mph, the roof of Mr Haynes’ veranda blew off, leaving a gaping hole 9ft by 4ft wide, with rain swing.
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Paul, as his friends call him, who worked in the merchant navy, said he tried to patch up the verandah with a bit of tarp as best he could to minimize rain damage to the rest of the house. house while the insurance company sorts it out.
The widely traveled man with 108 countries visited to his name said: ‘This house is on the hill overlooking the ocean and is constantly battered by high winds and storms. The conservatory has been here for 20 years and has never been damaged before.
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“When Storm Eunice hit we just heard a big bang and a huge hole appeared in the ceiling. The insurance adjuster visited but kept saying it wasn’t the storm that had done it and that the veranda was just old. Nothing to do with a storm.
“We’ve had high winds before and howling around the house, but never like this, but now the insurance company is trying to pull wool over my eyes and stop me paying.”
He added: “The insurance company asked me to try to cover the hole in the roof. This proved impossible due to the force of the wind, so I had no choice but to clean up whenever it rained, and it happened frequently. It was no small feat for me. I am 79 years old, have a severe back problem and am registered as partially blind from glaucoma.
“Insurance companies are fine with taking your money, but when you make a claim, they try every trick so you don’t have to pay.”
Paul said he could lose £3,600 out of pocket if HomeProtect, the insurance company underwritten by global insurance giant Axa, decided Storm Eunice was not a storm capable of damaging his conservatory.
Cornwall and Devon were put on red alert for strong winds when Storm Eunice was about to make landfall last month, with the Duchy remaining on orange warning in the days that followed as Storm Franklin swept through Cornwall for two days after Eunice.
The storm left a swath of destruction in its path with hundreds of trees uprooted, roofs knocked down, coastal defenses damaged and trains canceled as all major rail lines criss-crossing the country were obstructed or damaged by the falling storm. trees and debris.
The winds were so strong that the sheet metal roof of the Sennen Cover RNLI Lifeboat Station was torn off and folded over the road features below as if it were a flexible sheet.
The Met Office at the time even warned that Storm Eunice could be one of the worst to hit Cornwall in 30 years, leading Cornwall Council to declare a major incident and put emergency services on hold on high alert.
“I’m not an old lady that they can easily bamboozle,” Paul said. “They’re trying to get through it, but to say it has nothing to do with the storm is just ridiculous.”
Cornwall Live has asked Axa for a comment. The insurance company did not provide comment by the deadline.