Suffering from localised flooding, or prepping for thunderstorms and downpours in August? Some timely tips from Kevin Pratt, insurance expert at Forbes Advisor UK:
Home insurance shows its value in the wake of flooding. If your property is left uninhabitable, your buildings insurance policy may cover the cost of alternative accommodation. You may even be able to claim for the cost of putting your pets into a kennel or cattery if they can’t come with you.
It’s your contents insurance which will cover the cost of replacing items such as carpets, furniture, and other possessions whereas buildings insurance covers structural damage.
If you’re renting, your landlord should have buildings insurance. Contact them as soon as you can so they can give you help and advice.
Your insurer will want as much information as possible about the extent of damage, so it’s a good idea to take photographs of every room. The insurer may send a loss adjuster to determine the value of your claim – they should be on hand to help you complete the paperwork and follow the correct procedures.
It’s best not to get rid of any items until you’re given the green light by the insurer. The same applies to starting repairs, unless those repairs are essential to keep you safe if you’re still in the property, or to prevent further damage happening. Keep receipts for any work done.
A loss adjuster should advise you on how to set about drying your property and restoring it to its original condition. The adjuster is appointed by or employed by your insurance company. If you want someone to represent your interests first and foremost, perhaps because of a dispute over the claim you’re making, you can employ a loss assessor – but this is likely to cost several hundred pounds.
If it looks like flooding might become a regular problem at your address, you could ask your insurer or landlord to fund flood resilience measures as part of the repairs. This might include fitting moveable barriers to doors, windows and airbricks, raising plug sockets and appliances, and installing waterproof surfaces wherever appropriate.
One useful thing to have is a stock of Floodsax – these are like sandbags, but in the opinion of IE, work a bit better. No we aren’t promoting them, or on commission. They’re just good. Watch this video from France to judge for yourself;