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Storm Christoph - flood advice from the ABI

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) is reassuring those affected by flooding from Storm Christoph that insurers will be doing all they can as quickly as possible to help them recover.

Help from insurers for those flooded will include arranging and paying for temporary alternative accommodation where necessary, pro-actively contacting customers in flooded areas, making emergency payments and, as soon as it is practical to do so, organising the drying out and repair process.

The ABI’s Six Flood Recovery steps on what you should immediately do, and how your flood claim will be handled are:

Step 1 Contact your insurer as soon as possible. They will advise you on arranging alternative temporary accommodation if necessary ( or any temporary alternative trading premises if you are a business with business interruption cover), the information they will need you to support your claim,  and how to go ahead with the clean-up and repair process.

Step 2 Assessing the damage and finding temporary accommodation. A loss adjuster will be appointed by your insurer to assess the claim. An initial assessment of the damage will be done, the reinstatement process explained and the options for alternative accommodation outlined. You should expect to hear from your loss adjuster 2 days after contacting your insurer. If your loss adjuster needs to visit you, they will aim to do so within 7 days of the water receding. You may be approached by independent loss assessors who want to manage the claim on your behalf, often at your expense. You should not need to employ your own loss assessor, but if you are considering it ensure you are fully aware of the detail of what you are signing up for, including fees. 

Step 3 Cleaning and stripping out. Your loss adjuster will organise the cleaning and stripping out of your home. This work should start within 4 weeks of discussing it with your loss adjuster.

Step 4 Disinfecting and drying out your home. Your insurer or loss adjuster will appoint a drying company to disinfect and dry out your home. This can take from a few weeks to several months. Your loss adjuster will give you a timetable and keep you informed.

Step 5 Repair and reconstruction. Repair work should begin shortly after you get your drying certificate from the drying company. Your loss adjuster will appoint a builder to do the repair and reconstruction work and will keep you updated on expected timeframes.

Step 6 Moving back to your home. Your insurer or loss adjuster will discuss with you when you can return home. Depending on how badly damaged your home is, this can be between a few weeks and a year or more after the flooding happened.


Our guide to recovering from a flood and what to expect from your insurer can be found here.  Further information on claims management companies and independent loss assessors is available here.

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 or anything that is a health risk. For items like carpets and soft furnishings, try to take a cutting.

Laura Hughes, Manager, General Insurance, at the ABI, said:

"Insurers expect flooding at any time, and their top priority will be helping customers who have suffered flood and storm damage recover as quickly as possible. If you have been affected by flooding, contact your insurer as soon as possible for help and advice."

For further information please contact the Press Office.                                         

Last updated 21/01/2021