Helen Chambers, head of home insurance at MoneySuperMarket, comments on how to make a claim in light of flooding in the UK:
“Our data shows that home insurance premiums jump after a claim, meaning that the extreme rain could end up costing Brits a lot of money.
“Flood-related claims can impact your insurance in the long term as it’s likely insurers will increase premiums in proven high-risk areas. For example, insurance costs are 32% higher for those in close proximity to water, compared to those living 400 miles away from a water source.
“So, taking precautions to avoid a claim will not only help keep a lid on your premiums, but should also give you cheaper options next time you shop around to renew your policy. £96 is the average cost for buildings-only cover for properties that have never flooded before, compared to £199 for affected properties.
“If you live in a previously flooded property, it’s important to declare this to your insurance provider as soon as you purchase the property – failing to do so could make your claim invalid. If you do live in a high-risk zone, the good news is that since the Flood Re scheme launched in 2016, the cost of insuring properties in these areas has reduced because insurers can now protect themselves against the risk of offering cover for these properties. It is important to be honest when you take out a policy as these factors can and will be checked by an insurer at point of claim.”
MoneySuperMarket’s top tips for making a flood insurance claim:
- Let your insurer know immediately: if there’s a flood and it causes damage that necessitates a claim, you should tell your insurer as soon as possible
- Gather evidence: it’s good to take pictures and/or video recordings of the flood and any damage it causes, as well as noting down details such as the depth of the water
- Leave everything as it is: it’s best to wait until you’ve talked to your insurer before trying to clear or repair anything that’s been damaged by the flooding, just in case it affects your claim
- Consider consulting a loss assessor: insurance companies can appoint a loss assessor/adjustor to look into a claim for them and decide how much they’ll pay out, although you may need to negotiate with them to ensure you get a settlement that you are happy with. You could also contact a loss assessor to represent your interests and settle your claim for you – but you’re likely to be charged a fee for this service