We are the voice of insurance and long-term savings | Contact us

Clearing up after the floods latest advice and information from insurers

Families and businesses clearing up in the wake of the December storms are being reminded about what insurers will do to support them, and how they can best protect themselves and their belongings.

Insurers and their representatives will continue to be at work in areas affected by Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank for many months to come.

James Dalton, ABI’s Director of General Insurance Policy, said:

James Dalton"The top priority for home and business insurers is to help and support customers through this difficult time, so let them take charge. By making emergency payments, arranging temporary accommodation or trading premises, and starting the drying out and repair process as soon as possible, insurers are doing everything possible to help people recover from the devastating effects of December’s flooding."

For people dealing with severe flood damage to their homes or businesses

There are 6 key stages to getting properties repaired in the wake of a flood. Insurers are committed to starting the process as soon as possible.

  • In the immediate aftermath, insurers will be in affected areas proactively contacting customers. Businesses may need to deal with the broker they bought their insurance through. Insurers will make immediate emergency payments to help cover the cost of essentials.
  • Damage needs to be assessed, and in severe cases your insurer will appoint someone to come and do this as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Your home or business will need cleaning and stripping out once the waters have receded.
  • Six key stages for people affected by floodingA drying company will then be appointed to disinfect and fully dry out the property, and issue a certificate once this has been done.
  • A builder will be appointed, or you can request a contractor of your choice, to carry out repair and reconstruction work.
  • Your insurer or loss adjuster will discuss with you when it is safe to move back in to your home or resume trading from your business premises. Where appropriate your insurer will help pay for alternative accommodation in the meantime.

For people dealing with the disposal of flood damaged possessions

It will help your claim to have as many details as possible about items which have been ruined, but insurers do not expect you to keep piles of damaged belongings. People should:

  • Dispose of any items which pose a health risk, such as rotting food
  • List details of damaged items and take photos wherever possible
  • For items like carpets and soft furnishings, try to take a cutting

For people being approached by tradespeople and loss assessors

During the stress of dealing with a flood there can be people who will knock on your door and offer various services. Always be very sure about what you are signing and what it could cost you.

  • Loss assessors are not the same as loss adjusters, who will be sent by your insurer. Loss assessors are effectively claims managers who may offer to deal with your insurance claim but who will levy their own fees and charges. Use of a loss assessor should not be necessary.
  • Tradespeople offering to carry out quick repairs may not be working to a decent standard and may overcharge you. Your insurer will arrange for work to be done by reputable tradespeople and will handle payment directly.

Last updated 01/07/2016