Home Insurance after the floods
Forecasters have warned of “treacherous” conditions in parts of the country amid intense rainfall. It has resulted in flooding in many areas of the UK. Unfortunately, the flooding is unlikely to be a thing of the past. For some, it is likely to become a frequent occurrence. Having household insurance is, therefore, important. It will allow homeowners who have seen their home damaged as a result of the flooding to rebuild.
Am I Covered?
Firstly check whether your home is in a flood-prone area. You can do this by checking online for information about which areas are at risk.
Flood insurance is a part of both building and contents insurance. It does not mean however that you have automatic cover. While most household insurance policies may include as standard, the levels of protection are likely to differ between the different policies.
For example, your contents policy is likely to provide new-for-old coverage. This means your insurer will pay to replace any damaged items with brand new items. However, some insurers include exceptions to this policy. For example, if any clothes are damaged in a flood, they might make deductions due to wear and tear.
Consequently, it’s important to remember that insurance policies vary in terms of the exact level of coverage they provide. Therefore checking your policy documents before making a decision is highly recommended. If it is unclear then, you should check what cover you have with the insurance company.
If your home is one of those flooded due to the heavy rainfall, the likelihood is that your insurance premiums will rise the next time you come to renew it. You may also find that you have to pay a larger excess on any claims you make in future.
Even if you are not living in an area that is at risk of flooding, it is important that you shop around when renewing your insurance. Doing so may mean that it is possible to get a better deal.
The Association of British Insurers has recognised that the risk of flooding is a huge and growing problem for parts of the UK. Moreover that it is something that can significantly impact the cost of insurance.
It therefore introduced Flood Re, which took effect from 2017. Essentially the government scheme takes money off insurance liable for flood risk. It in turn helps households who are at the highest risk from flooding.
If you think you house is in immediate danger of flooding there are some last minute measures you can take:
- Clear gutters, drains and down-pipes.
- Move furniture, rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors, or at least raise them off the ground floor.
- Shut off electricity.
- Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks if they’re in danger of being flooded.
Making a claim on flood insurance
If your home does become flooded, there are steps you can take to help ensure your insurance provider will cover the damage:
- Let your insurer know ASAP: if there’s a flood and it causes damage that you’ll need to claim for, you should tell your insurer as soon as possible.
- Gather evidence of the damage: it’s good to take pictures and/or video recordings of the flood and any damage it causes, as well as making note of details like the depth of the water.
- Leave everything as it is: we suggest waiting until you’ve talked to your insurer before trying to clear or repair anything that’s been damaged by the flooding, in case it affects your claim.