THE UK has been battered by extreme weather for the past several days with Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis causing disruption, wind speeds up to 100mph and widespread flooding.

In parts of the country, including North Yorkshire, cars have been left submerged, properties flooded and road and rail services severely disrupted.

But as affected Britons start the recovery process, which often involves an insurance claim or number of claims, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said insurers should be geared up to deal with storms.

Here's what you need to know, and do, if you're about to make a claim:

You can claim against bad weather

According to consumer site Confused, building and contents insurance policies should cover against storm damage - but not fences, sheds, gates or hedges, unless specified on the policy.

A storm is determined for liability purposes as "(something that) generally involves violent winds, usually accompanied by rain, hail or snow" by The Financial Ombudsman.

Motorists with comprehensive motor insurance should see their insurer cover the cost of repair or replacement of a damaged car.

The Northern Echo:

You'll need to provide evidence 

Those with damage to their homes are advised to take photographs and record any damage found by way of a 'thorough' inspection, insurers often ask the claimant to take note of the date and time of the damage.

Items in homes left ruined, including carpets and furniture, may need to be assessed by the insurance firm before a claim is paid, however the ABI says a small cutting from a carpet may be sufficient in certain cases.

For out-of-pocket expenses, including emergency temporary repairs from contractors, Confused advises those affected to keep all receipts and invoices, to allow the total cost incurred paid back during the claim.

The Northern Echo:

Let the insurance company know as soon as possible

In order to keep the claim valid, insurers ask those affected by storm damage to contact them as soon as possible to advise them of the situation.

Some factors may invalidate a claim 

Insurers may refuse to pay out a claim against storm damage in-part or in-full, if the insurer finds the property was not in a good state before the damage occured.

Confused uses the example that a claim for damaged tiles following the storm may not succeed if it turns out that the tiles were already damaged due to wear and tear.

The Northern Echo:

Malcolm Tarling, a spokesperson for the ABI, said: "It is too early to estimate the costs of storms Dennis and Ciara.

"Insurers expect storms like this, and their only priority at the moment is helping customers recover as quickly as possible."