• ‘Apocalyptic’ weather on French Riviera causes chaos and damage to vehicles
  • Cars washed out to sea and underground car parks flooded, leaving holidaymakers stranded
  • LV= customers overwhelmed by pro-active and thoughtful customer service

In October, violent storms and flash flooding in the French Riviera forced the country to declare a state of national emergency.

News bulletins reported how torrential rain caused water levels to rise to waist height in a matter of minutes. Gushing water swept parked cars down the street, forcing them to collide with other cars; and photos posted on social media showed the devastation caused by these unprecedented storms.

Knowing that the south of France is a popular holiday destination for Brits, members of the LV= Claims teams in Ipswich and Brentwood leapt into action and began to contact customers who they thought may be affected.

Six LV= customers had been caught up in the chaos, their cars significantly damaged by being submerged or swept into other vehicles. One of the unfortunate families even had to be airlifted off the roof of their caravan because it was totally under water.

Happily, our Claims specialists were on hand to arrange courtesy cars, re-book ferry crossings and offer settlement figures for written off vehicles.

Chloe Francis works in our Special Jurisdiction Claims Team, and deals with claims which occur outside of England and Wales. She shared the story of one of our valued customers, Mrs Muir:

“Mrs Muir reported the claim at the beginning of October. When she called us, she was actually in Milan visiting her son: in the floods, her vehicle had been swept away and had got stuck under a caravan.

I talked to Mrs Muir about how we could help get everything sorted for her.

First, I sent the details of her claim over to another member of the team, who carried out a ‘blind valuation’. (A ‘blind valuation’ is where we discuss the conditions of the vehicle prior to and after an incident and then offer a settlement figure without occurring the unnecessary cost of returning a written off vehicle to the UK)

She had been planning to drive her car to visit her daughter while she was in Europe – but had to take the train instead. Although this is something that isn’t covered by her policy, we made sure Mrs Muir was paid back for her train fare. 

Having agreed our settlement figure, Mrs Muir let us know that she had a flight booked to return to the UK and asked if she would be able to have a hire car to assist her in getting home.

I arranged a courtesy car to be ready to collect at the airport when she landed, which she could keep and use for a fortnight.

I then called Mrs Muir once she had returned to the UK to make sure that everything was ok and she thanked me for my help and said that the service we had offered had been brilliant.”

Having to make a claim because of an incident can be an upsetting experience – but is made even more difficult when abroad on holiday. We were delighted to be able to help our customers following the recent terrible weather in France.