Flooding can happen for a variety of reasons, from burst pipes to heavy storms. No matter what causes a flood, it is essential that you are prepared should the worst happen.
You may think that is only ground floor flats that may suffer from water damage but unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. You should be especially aware of issues that could affect your block if you live near a river:
- Communal hallways can become inaccessible leading to residents being unable to get in to their properties
- Car parks and parking areas can become flooded
- Any property in garages and sheds are at risk
- Lift shafts can become water-logged
- External brick work is damaged by flood water which may have been contaminated with sewage, animal waste and other contaminants and often leaves a muddy deposit which is difficult to remove
- Utilities are often disrupted – we know many of you have been without electricity recently
Having an evacuation plan for these instances would be beneficial. We have evacuation procedures for fires, so why not for flooding?
The Association of British Insurers recommends:
- Contact your home or commercial insurer as soon as possible. Most will have 24-hour emergency helplines to ensure customers get advice on what to do and arrange repairs as quickly as possible.
- Only return to your home when it is safe to do so. If your home is unsafe, your insurer should be able to arrange temporary alternative accommodation.
- If necessary, arrange temporary emergency repairs to stop any damage getting worse. Tell your insurer and keep any receipts, as this will form part of your claim.
- Do not be in a rush to throw away damaged items, unless they are a danger to health, as these may be able to be repaired or restored.
- Take photos of damaged items once your |Insurer has advised they can be disposed of.
- List, as far as possible, details of damaged items.
- For items like carpets and soft furnishings, take a cutting as this can help your insurer in providing a similar replacement or cash payment.
Protect your property against the storms.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to avoid heavy winds. However, there are a number of protective measures you should consider so that your property is prepared for stormy weather, including:
- Check property for loose roof tiles and ensure gutters, drain opening and gullies are clear to help with drainage.
- Put away garden furniture, gazebos and any other loose items that might get blown around and cause damage.
- Secure gates and shed doors.
- Be ready to turn off essential supplies – gas, electricity and water – at the mains.
- Prepare an emergency pack to include torch, first aid kit, warm clothes, blankets and water and make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.
After the storm, check your property again for any damage.
Our advice for homeowners is to check that you have adequate cover before you are faced with an emergency situation such as flooding or storm damage. With 3,000 homeowners requiring alternative accommodation following the recent storms, ensuring your buildings insurance policy protects you is key.