Asianumero: FINE-011609 (2018)

Vakuutuslaji: Kotivakuutus

Ratkaisu annettu: 06.07.2018

Sudden and unforeseen event. Rug and clothes soaked in rain. Losses less than the deductible amount. Should the Insurance Company have compensated the Customer’s losses on the basis of the home insurance?

Information about the event

In the summer of 2017, the Customer took clothes, shoes and a rug to her balcony to give them an airing. It started to rain, and as a consequence, some of the clothes bled colour and dyed other clothes so that they could no longer be cleaned in the laundry and be fit for use. The rain also ruined the rug which became unusable. The Customer also claimed damages for previously lost cell phones and a vacuum cleaner. The Insurance Company did not pay any indemnity.

Customer claims at FINE and the opinion of the Service Provider

The Customer claims that the Insurance Company pay her 400 euro in compensation for the dyed cloths and rug. Moreover, she has made a 100 euro claim to the Insurance Company for the lost cell phones and 50 euro for the lost vacuum cleaner.

The Insurance Company finds that showers of rain are normally not deemed unforeseeable; in addition, the Customer should, in any case, protect articles that are sensitive to moisture against eventual rain showers.

The Insurance Company finds that the losses related to the cell phones and the vacuum cleaner are separate events, adding that the loss amounts are lower than the Customer’s deductible which is 150 euro per insurance event. As the value of the damage is less that the deductible, there will remain nothing to be indemnified on the basis of the insurance policy.

Contractual Terms

According to insurance terms section 5.1, the home insurance covers direct material damage caused to the insured property by the insurance event described below, if such event was sudden and unforeseeable and the insurance cover, on the basis of which said damage can be compensated, was valid at the time when the insurance event occurred.

According to section 5.1.5, under the breakage and loss cover, the insurance covers loss caused by damage to or loss of property due to a sudden and unforeseeable external reason, provided that said loss has not been defined as being coverable under the fire and natural phenomenon, crime, equipment breakage or pipeline leakage cover. Whether this other cover was valid on the occurrence date of an insurance event has no relevance.

According to the indemnification regulations section 4 in all insurance events, the insured is responsible for a certain amount of the loss, i.e. the deductible, which is specified in the insurance policy.


The question in this case is whether the Insurance Company should indemnify the Customer's damaged clothing and rug as well as the two lost cell phones and vacuum cleaner on the basis of the Customer's home insurance policy.

Lost cell phones and vacuum cleaner

The Customer had reported the loss of her vacuum cleaner worth 50 euro as well as of two cell phones, with the total value estimated to be 100 euro. There has been no clarification in this case as to the events involving the said objects. The reported loss incurred for these objects totalled 150 euro. As the loss event has not been defined and the Customer's policy terms include a 150 euro deductible per insurance event, the Insurance Company is not liable to pay any indemnification for these objects.

Damaged clothing and rug

The Customer has claimed compensation for the rug and clothes that had suffered damage while being aired on the balcony when it started to rain. Under the applicable policy terms, the insurance covers direct material damage or loss caused to the insured property due to a sudden and unforeseen external reason.

A sudden and unforeseen event is one that takes place as a surprise and that can be deemed unexpected based on common empirical notions. The suddenness and unforeseen character of the damage are mainly estimated on objective terms, taking into consideration information determined on the basis of general life experience regarding the frequency and probability of events of a certain kind. FINE finds that under the Finnish climatic conditions and based on common experience, it cannot be deemed unexpected that it may start to rain. This has also been an established practice in the FINE Insurance Complaints Board recommended solutions, such as the appended recommended solution VKL 433/05.

The damage caused to the rug and clothing outside in rain is thus not a sudden and unexpected material damage under the home insurance policy terms, compensable by the Insurance Company on the basis of the Customer's home insurance.

Final outcome

FINE does not recommend that the Insurance Company's decision be modified.


Senior Adviser Raulos
Presenting official 


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