top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

French town bit by severe hailstorms in June still in damaged disarray

Up to 97% of buildings were damaged in the short-but-severe hailstorm in Dordogne. The mayor feels like the residents have been ‘forgotten and abandoned’

Homes in the town of Ribérac with blue tarpaulins over their roofs

The town of Ribérac is suffering with ongoing storm damage and complications over delayed and slow insurance claim payouts Pic: Nick Jenkins

Homeowners in Dordogne whose properties were damaged in severe hailstorms are still waiting for help and repair work four months later, as the mayor says he “fears the worst” for public buildings too.

A short-but-serious hailstorm hit the town of Ribérac on June 20 this year. Enormous hailstones fell for three minutes, damaging 97% of homes across the commune. Cars were also severely damaged.

Four months later, most residents still have some kind of damage on their roofs, and many are simply relying on tarpaulins. As winter approaches, many are worried about how inclement weather – even if not particularly harsh – could wreak further damage.

Read more: Dordogne town battered by hail is left in limbo by French insurers 

Mayor of Ribérac, Nicolas Platon, told France 3 that the residents feel as though they have been abandoned and forgotten. In his role, he is responsible for 52 public buildings, including a cinema, library, and canteen.

However, several quotes for repair work have been refused by the municipality’s insurance company.

Buildings still in disarray include the church, which dates back to 1935 but has been closed since October 10. Water is leaking inside it, and the walls are deteriorating, making it increasingly dangerous.

Another local institution, the Café du palais, has also been closed since the start of October, and there is an extra complication, as the shoppers have since found out that their landlord did not have buildings insurance.

Mr Platon said: “If we do not have definite [positive] responses from our insurance in the next few days, I fear the worst for some buildings.”

Some residents have been told that they will have to wait until at least next year to receive insurance payouts, and others have faced administrative hurdles as they try to claim for damage on different parts of their homes and for vehicles.

French insurance companies can be required to pay out if a state of catastrophe naturelle (natural disaster) is declared following a natural phenomenon such as storms, but this has not happened for Ribérac, despite residents calling for the same.

This is because damage caused by hail is generally not covered by catastrophe naturelle provisions. 

Read also: Storm damage in France: How to manage an insurance claim for your home

Related articles

France recognises catastrophe naturelle across 163 communes nationwide

Get ready for autumn of high-risk violent storms in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France