Once or twice a year, Cyprus experiences heavy rains and storms, which cause damage to infrastructure and buildings. Many Cypriots wonder who is the responsible party who should cover the costs associated with such damage. The answer is not clear and primarily depends on the reason.
Flooding, in addition to rain of unusual intensity and duration, can occur due to blocked drains, construction work or sloping roads, especially leading to building entrances and basements.
Solving the compensation problem is not easy. What matters is whether your insurance policy covers such cases. This in itself is a problem because if you make a claim, you will most likely be met with a denial of payment from the insurance company.
In one case, the insurance company reported that the roof drainage system was blocked by leaves, causing the roof to flood and consequently water to enter the apartment. It is logical that the owner could not come to the roof every other day to make sure that the gutters were not clogged. The company then claimed that the drainage problem was due to poor workmanship, even though there had been no other problems in the 20 years since the building was built.
So, what to do in such cases?
In some cases, the government appears willing to cover at least some of the costs associated with such damage. There was a fire in Larnaca that destroyed a number of buildings, and even those who did not have a building permit received compensation. In another case, an artist used the building’s basement as a recording studio. When the premises flooded and equipment was damaged, he asked the government for compensation and received it!
However, it is impossible to justify the indifference of insured persons who do not take such events into account.
A recent court decision regarding the collapse of a house in the village of Armu , although not directly related to it, placed blame on the government, saying that the authorities had failed in their responsibilities.
We need to start thinking about whether prevailing insurance contracts are one-sided and strengthen our checks on insurance companies.