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Flooding and Storm Pia – Insurance Advice


The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is reassuring homeowners and businesses impacted by flooding or Storm Pia that their insurers will be ready to help and support their customers.

Damage caused by floods and storm is covered by most standard home insurance and commercial business policies, and comprehensive motor insurance. 

Mark Shepherd, Head of General Insurance Policy at the ABI, said:

“Insurers expect bad weather to strike at any time and are geared up to deal with events like this as quickly as possible. Their priority will be to help affected customers recover as quickly as is practical. If you suffer damage to your property or vehicle contact your insurer as soon as you can for help and advice.” 

As Storm Pia strikes, we advise people to: 

  • Keep a close eye on weather warnings, and follow advice from The Met Office, The Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Natural Resources Wales and the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland.
  • Where possible, store items left in gardens that can easily be blown away and cause damage, like ladders, inside, or ensure they are secure.
  • Have contact details of your home insurer to hand, along with other emergency contact numbers for your utility providers and the local authority.

If you suffer storm damage: 

  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible. Most will have 24-hour emergency helplines to ensure you get advice on what to do and arrange repairs as quickly as is possible.
  • If necessary, arrange temporary emergency repairs to stop any damage getting worse, but speak to your insurer first.
    If you have to arrange emergency repairs yourself, tell your insurer and keep any receipts, as this will form part of your claim. 
  • Do not be in a rush to throw away damaged items, unless they are a danger to health, as these may be able to be repaired or restored. Your insurer will advise.

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 in line with your policy. 

Commercial polices will cover damage to premises and 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. 

Read our full guidance on coping with storm damage here.

If flooding is expected in your area, here are four key steps to minimise its potential impact: 

Step 1 - Assemble a flood kit containing your mobile phone and chargers, contact telephone numbers, any current medication, torch, battery, radio, insurance policy details, rubber gloves, wet wipes, hand cleaning gel, first aid kit and bottled water. 

Step 2 - Ensure your pets are cared for and are safe from flooding. 

Step 3 - Move valuable, sentimental or essential items upstairs or to a high place and, if it is safe to do so, consider moving your car to an area less likely to flood. 

Step 4 - Fit any property level resilience measures where possible such as flood gates or air brick covers. 

In the event that your home is flooded, here’s our six flood recovery steps: 

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

Step 2 - Assessing the damage and finding temporary accommodation. A loss adjuster will be appointed to assess the claim. An initial assessment of the damage will be done, the repair process explained and the options for alternative accommodation outlined. You should expect to hear from your loss adjuster after contacting your insurer and they will get in touch if they need to arrange a visit to your home. 

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

Step 4 - Disinfecting and drying 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 into 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 flood. 

Our guide to recovering from a flood and what to expect from your insurer can be found here

For more information, please contact the Press Office.

Last updated 10/01/2024