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Severe flooding along the River Severn – insurance advice from the ABI

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) is reassuring homeowners and businesses who suffer damage from flooding along the River Severn that insurers will be doing everything possible to help them recover quickly. Home buildings, contents and commercial business policies cover storm and flood damage.

Laura DawsonLaura Dawson, spokesperson, Association of British Insurers, said:

“The latest heavy rainfall comes as the ground is already saturated from Storm Ciara and Dennis which hit in quick succession. Safety is paramount for those affected. Insurers will be fully geared up to help customers recover as quickly as possible, including making emergency payments and providing temporary accommodation.”

The ABI advises people who have suffered damage:

  • If facing major damage or flooding, only return to your home or business when it is safe to do so. If you home is unsafe, your insurer should be able to arrange temporary alternative accommodation.
  • Contact your home or commercial insurer as soon as possible. Most will have 24-hour emergency helplines to ensure customers get advice on what to do and arrange repairs as quickly as possible.
  • If necessary, arrange temporary emergency repairs to stop any damage getting worse. Tell your insurer and keep any receipts, as this will form part of your claim.

Insurers do not want to hold up the recovery process by delaying the removal of damaged items following flooding. It will help the insurance claims process to have as much detail as possible about items which have been ruined, but insurers do not expect customers to keep piles of damaged belongings, so once you've spoken to your insurer you can:

  • Dispose of any items which pose a health risk, such as rotting food.
  • List details of damaged items and take photos of them wherever possible before they are moved.
  • For items like carpets and soft furnishings, try to take a cutting.
  • Many drying and restoration companies can fully restore water damaged items, so if you are able to store them in the garden it may be worth keeping them for inspection and repair if possible.

If your home is uninhabitable while repairs are being carried out, your insurer will arrange for and pay the cost of any alternative temporary accommodation you may need.

Commercial polices will cover damage to premises and the stock. Business interruption cover (which may be included or purchased separately) will cover additional trading costs, such as hiring temporary alternative trading premises if necessary.

Comprehensive motor insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by storms.                                                                                   


Last updated 25/02/2020