4 key things about storm and flood damage insurance claims
By Vicky Shaw. Published 2021-01-31BOLD-Living
Storms and floods can cause a lot of damage – and costs can rack up fast. Here’s what you need to know about getting cover and making claims.
1. Different types of policies will cover different claimsMake sure you check exactly what your policy does and does not cover. Comprehensive motor insurance should cover the cost of repairing or replacing storm-damaged vehicles. And buildings insurance covers the structure of your home such as the walls, wallpaper and permanent fixtures such as fitted kitchens.Insurers may also arrange temporary accommodation if a home is uninhabitable. Brian Brown, a consumer finance expert at star ratings service Defaqto, points out that when large areas are flooded, local builders will be in high demand so you may face a wait for repairs.“Make sure your buildings insurance policy provides enough cover for alternative accommodation,” says Brown, who suggests making sure it covers the cost of renting a similar property in your area for at least 18 months, to be on the safe side.Home contents insurance will cover the cost of replacing belongings such as furniture. Brown suggests making sure you have enough insurance to replace items as new.“If you have a major loss (like in a flood) and the insurer finds out that you are massively under-insured, they are likely to reduce the claim payout accordingly,” he adds.
2. Try to provide details about damaged itemsThis may mean taking photos to help back up your claim. Don’t worry though about having to keep all your ruined items.The ABI says insurers don’t expect customers to keep piles of damaged belongings, so once you have spoken to your insurer you can dispose of any items which pose a health risk, such as rotting food.Also, if a damaged item is big and bulky, taking a cutting may be all you need to back up your claim, such as a piece of carpet.
3. Don’t rush to throw out items that could be fixedIf there’s somewhere you can store items, it may be worth seeing if they can be repaired as there are lots of drying and restoration companies out there.
4. It’s still possible to get insurance if you live in a flood risk areaTarling explains: “An industry funded scheme known as Flood Re exists to ensure that flood insurance remains available to higher flood risk home owners. Most insurers subscribe to this scheme, so check that yours does.”Flood Re was launched to ensure the availability and affordability of cover for households at risk of flooding. The scheme sits in the background, working behind the scenes with insurance companies. It works by enabling insurance companies to insure themselves against losses because of flooding. They can pass on the flood risk element of a policy on to Flood Re.Customers still buy their cover from insurers or brokers in the usual way, but when a flood claim is made, the insurer will then be able to recover costs from Flood Re.Andy Bord, chief executive of Flood Re (an intialtive between insurers and the government), says: “Having launched in April 2016, the scheme has already helped over a quarter of a million households. Independent research shows that nearly four out of five households with previous flood claims have been able to find quotes that are more than 50% cheaper since the scheme was introduced.“Whatever your circumstances – even if you have been flooded recently or are at risk of flooding – the right cover should be available at a more affordable price,” he adds. “We would strongly encourage you to shop around – using brokers, price comparison sites and contacting insurers directly – and if you have any questions about Flood Re visit our website (floodre.co.uk).”
Boldie Thanks:Thanks to Chris Gallagher for the photo stored on Unsplash
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