How to Make an Insurance Claim after Flooding

Mobile Smartphone Shows Rain Weather ForecastBeing flooded can be a traumatic and exhausting experience, leaving homeowners confused and wondering if they will ever get back to normal day-to-day life. Our guide walks flood victims step-by-step through the process of making a successful insurance claim.

Safety First Do not enter your property until you know that it’s 100% safe; if you are in any doubt whatsoever get the ‘all clear’ from a local builder.

 

Contact your Insurer Most home insurance companies operate 24-hour emergency telephone helplines and you should tell them what’s happening as soon as possible. You’ll need to have your policy details to hand, and it’s a good idea to double-check they have your current contact details which may have recently changed given the circumstances.

Check your Policy It’s important to know exactly where you stand before beginning the big clean-up. To avoid any unpleasant or expensive surprises check that your buildings cover includes provision for: alternative accommodation, drying and restoring your property, and any professional fees (such as solicitors or architects).Similarly check that your contents cover includes provision for: repair or replacement of household contents, removal and storage of undamaged contents.

Further Flood Damage Your insurer may approve immediate building work if it is to prevent further structural damage occurring, otherwise it’s the job of your loss adjuster.

Serious Flood Damage Your insurer will appoint an independent loss adjuster if the damage is extensive. It’s their job to establish the scope of the loss and arrange for the repair work to be done. Your loss adjuster will want to see everything that’s been damaged; so don’t throw anything away or it could affect your claim. Some insurers allow you to dispose of perishable items (such as food spoiled in your fridge or freezer) but double check first.

Be Realistic with Timings Properties take much longer to dry-out than you might think (months rather than weeks) so you’ll need to be patient and don’t rush into redecorating.

Record all Damage Carefully go through each room recording and photographing everything that has been damaged. Your loss adjuster will compile a similar record, but it’s a good idea to have your own version for individual reference. Use a permanent marker to record the maximum flood height in each room for future reference.

Keep all Receipts Make sure that you get receipts for any expenses that relate to your flood claim, including alternative accommodation, emergency repair work and equipment hire.

Take Meter Readings Take utility meter readings to enable you to calculate the amount of power used repairing your property. Heaters and dehumidifiers drain electricity and the costs can soon add-up.

We have also written a post on how to tackle the clean-up and dry out of your flooded property, and you can get great deals on flood risk insurance from our specialist home insurance team.


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