Latest flood clear up figures reinforce the need for more resilient properties

The latest figures showing how the clean-up is going in the wake of the winter storms are published today by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The number of claims fully or partly settled after six months is now at 93%, with major progress on several large commercial claims in particular. Breaking down that number: 

  • 95% of domestic customers have had their claims fully or partly settled
  • 89% of commercial customers have had their claims fully or partly settled

Putting homes and businesses back together after a serious flood tends to be a lengthy process, which adds to the trauma of those affected.

The ABI is therefore also publishing a new guide to resistant and resilient repair to help home and business owners who are at flood risk think about steps they can take to help prevent or reduce the damage done should the floodwaters hit.

  • Effective flood RESISTANCE measures help to keep water from entering the property, or reduce the amount that does. Examples include flood gates, covers for air-bricks and non-return valves for bathrooms which prevent sewage coming up pipes.
  • Effective flood RESILIENCE measures accept that water will get inside but help to limit the damage done and make the property easier and quicker to clean up and dry out afterwards. Examples include raised electrical sockets, floor tiles instead of carpet, waterproof plaster and units for kitchens and bathrooms which are plastic or stainless steel.

The ABI guide gives customers tips about contacting surveyors and insurers, and highlights that funding may be available via local authorities if you have flooded recently.

Laura Hughes Laura Hughes, Property Policy Adviser at the ABI, said:

  “Being flooded is horribly traumatic, not just because of the    immediate damage and disruption but also because a flood can take    so long to recover from. Insurers are making excellent progress    repairing the thousands of properties affected by last winter’s floods  but we know that there are still some people who face more months  out of their homes and businesses.

“There are now many different ways that can help make properties more likely to survive a flood without serious damage being done, and we hope this new guide will encourage more people to consider them. Anything which can reduce the amount of water damage done to a property and its contents will help reduce the time it takes to get that home or business back to normal.”

Mary Dhonau, Chief Executive of Know Your Flood Risk, said:

“Having been flooded myself, I know how awful it can be. But taking a few steps to both try to stop the water getting in and to reduce the damage the flood water can do really does cut down on the appalling devastation being flooded can bring. There is so much more on the market now to help, it really is worth finding out about.”


After the floods – Q&A

Why do flood damaged properties take so long to repair?

The drying stage is one of the most important parts of the repair process, and it can take a significant amount of time. When properties are flooded by several feet of water, it gets deep into the brickwork and structure of the building. The building needs to be completely dried out before repairs and rebuilding start, and that means dry deep into the walls, not just dry at the surface. We know new technology is being used more often to speed this process up where possible but it isn’t always suitable for all properties.

Repairs done to a property which isn’t completely dry may create future problems for the owner or resident. There also needs to be full decontamination to ensure the property is safe to return to.

What’s happening to people whose properties aren’t fixed yet?

Where properties aren’t ready for people to return to them, insurers will be funding alternative accommodation as required. Some people may choose to live in the upper storeys of their property or to stay with friends or family members instead. Businesses may also be offered alternative premises to trade from for a period.

Why have some claims not had any money paid out so far?

Payments have been made towards 93% of claims. Where payments haven’t yet been made there are several likely reasons for this: a contractor carrying out work may not yet have yet billed the insurer, or the policy holder may be choosing to plan other improvement works on top of the repairs for example. Insurers will look to make interim payments where necessary and provided £70 million in emergency payments in the immediate aftermath of the floods, to both homes and businesses.

Last updated 05/08/2016