Flood and storm advice
Here are some useful hints and tips that could help to prevent flood and storm damage to your home.
What to do if bad weather is forecast
If you feel the weather is getting bad with the potential to flood:
•Ensure you have emergency items to hand such as; a torch, a camera, batteries, warm clothing and blankets, boots, gloves, first aid kit, prescribed medication, refuse sacks, food, water and your household claims helpline number. This can be found in your policy documentation.
•Make sure any unsecured items, like ladders in gardens, that can cause damage in high winds are secured;
•Make sure that you have emergency contact numbers for your local authority and utility companies to hand in a safe waterproof place;
•Consider where family and pets could go in an emergency and how easy it would be to move personal items (especially sentimental possessions which cannot be replaced) above the water level (i.e. to an upper floor); and
Listen out for bad weather warnings on local radio, TV, Twitter and other appropriate internet sites such as the Met Office.
What should I do if a flood strikes?
Call your claims helpline as soon as you can get to a phone. They should be able to advise you the best course of action, depending on the severity of the damage. Make a record of damaged items using a camera.
Throw anything away. If it is necessary to dispose of items ensure they are catalogued using a camera. Use electricity or gas until given the all clear by a qualified engineer. Use your own tradesmen for a quick fix. Either your insurer or one of their loss adjusters will advise you on repairs, depending on the extent of damage it may take weeks and sometimes months to dry out the property ready for repair.
What happens when I make a claim?
We or your insurer will give you advice on how best to proceed. If the damage is large scale then your insurer will instruct one of their Loss Adjusters to manage your claim and advise you on the best course of action.
What if I can’t stay in my house due to the severity of the damage?
Your home insurance will normally cover the reasonable cost of alternative accommodation, whether this is a short hotel stay or the rental of another property. However, some policies, although generous, have limits to the amount that can be refunded. Alternatively, some policies may cover an inconvenience allowance if staying with friends or family. Also, depending on individual circumstances they may be able to assist you with a reasonable amount for the cost of food.
What if I’m asked for a deposit for alternative accommodation?
If a deposit is needed for a rented property then the insurer can normally assist with this. However, this would be deducted from the final settlement made for alternative accommodation.
How do I know when my property is dry?
In order to begin the restoration process the loss adjuster would instruct a professional restoration company. Once you house is dry they would expect to see a Certificate of Dryness issued. Personal items may either be replaced or restored depending on the level of damage.