LIDL Mosta Aftermath: What Happens Next?
Damaged cars, a destroyed water tank, and a toppled over wall
The strong winds which hit Malta yesterday evening led to a powerful whirlwind making its way to the Mosta area around 7pm, blowing off a part of the Mosta LIDL's roof and damaging some of the cars parked below. But what happens next?
Even though several people were in the supermarket when the incident occurred, no one was injured. There were, however, damages incurred to not only the supermarket's premises, but also some of the parked cars outside. Pieces of metal and plastic from the roof came crashing down on some of vehicles parked just outside LIDL, while a wall toppled over, damaging nearby cars. Some vehicles had metal sheets wrapped them, and another had its back windscreen smashed.
Inside, all checkout stations stopped working and cashiers were unable to continue as the strong winds and flying debris damaged the supermarket's electrics.
The owners of the damaged cars were reportedly asked to wait for further information.
This morning, the scene was a very sombre one. Under a still overcast sky, some workers could be spotted overlooking the damages on the roof, while others cleaned remaining debris in the parking area. Two vans blocked the entrance to the parking area, while the exit was also closed off with some barriers and a couple of security officials.
LIDL Mosta will be closed for the rest of the day. The supermarket's representatives told Lovin Malta that, as it stands, they have no further information to add, and that they're hoping to have a better idea of the entire situation later this afternoon.
In the meantime, we consulted with some insurance experts to try and understand what happens next in a situation like this.
How will LIDL go about claiming storm damages?
"Basically, one would need to see what kind of insurance coverage the operators of the facility have in place," Mark Laferla, director of Laferla Insurance, told Lovin Malta. "One would assume, based on the common practice in the market, that they would have a business insurance package which would include cover for damage to the premises as well as stocks, equipment, fixtures, etc."
"Damages by weather events are covered under the common ‘Industrial All Risks’ or ‘Commercial combined’ policies which a place like that would usually have in force."
So what about the owners of the damaged cars?
"With regards to the third party vehicles which were damaged in the car park, it is slightly more complex," Mark told Lovin Malta. "Essentially, however the vehicle owners would be able to claim under their own insurer (if they are comprehensively insured) or deal directly with the owner / operator of the place where they were parked. Assuming the operator doesn’t take the position of ‘parking here is at the driver’s risk’ (which doesn’t mean they are not legally responsible anyway) then said operator would inform their insurer and the third party liability coverage would normally operate and make good for such damages."
Luckily, there were no injuries last night, but had there been, the same would apply. "The operator’s third party liability coverage would cater for bodily injury / death claims arising out of an incident on their premises for which they are held responsible."
When asked about any estimations of damage expenses or a way forward for both the Mosta supermarket or the owners of the vehicles damaged, representatives at LIDL told Lovin Malta that it's still too early to release any more information.
In the meantime, more rain, thunder and strong winds are on the forecast for this week, with Thursday seeing predicted winds of up to 40km/hr.