7th December 2015
Insurance groups are urging anyone who has suffered flood damage to contact their home insurer as soon as possible and to stay away from their home until it is safe.
Matthew Scott, chief claims manager at NFU Mutual, said that based on what the insurer is hearing, the flooding in Cumbria looks to be the worst in 10 years.
Flood damage can cost on average almost £18,000 per incident according to Lloyds Bank Insurance, so homeowners still whose properties are still at risk are being urged to take steps to help avoid further damage where possible.
Most insurers will have 24-hour emergency helplines, which can give advice on what to do and arrange repairs as quickly as possible.
Trade body, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has advised:
Malcolm Tarling, of the ABI said: “Insurers expect bad weather during the winter and will be geared up to help customers who have suffered flood and storm damage recover as quickly as possible.”
Home buildings and contents policies cover flood and storm damage. Tarling said for those whose home is uninhabitable while repairs are being carried out, their insurer will arrange for and pay the cost of any alternative temporary accommodation needed.
Commercial polices will cover damage to premises and the stock. Business interruption cover, which may be included or purchased separately, will cover additional trading costs, such as hiring temporary alternative trading premises if necessary. Comprehensive motor insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by flooding.
For its part Lloyds Bank Insurance deployed its emergency response unit this weekend to support affected customers in the Keswick and Carlisle areas.
Tim Downes, senior claims manager at Lloyds Bank Insurance, said: “Our emergency response team has been on the ground in the community over the weekend and are working to help all customers whose homes are affected get things back on track as quickly as possible.”
Co-op Insurance has said that it is treating all flooding and storm claims as a priority with additional staff working to assist customers at this challenging time.
Co-op’s head of claims, Jonathan Guy, is on the ground in Cumbria to help and is visiting affected customers. He said: “This is devastating for our customers and we are mindful that we are so near to Christmas. We are treating these severe claims as a priority and have drafted in additional colleagues to deal with these and other storm claims from around the country as quickly as we can. We are also automatically authorising customers to take the necessary steps to repair their properties or to move to alternative accommodation if required.”
NFU Mutual’s Scott said: “The flood waters seem to be more widespread than before and as a result we expect more homes, farms and businesses may yet be affected. We have activated our emergency plan and our staff and agents are working hard to support their local communities.
“Our first priority is to help get our policyholders and their families back into their homes and workplaces as quickly as possible and we have teams of loss adjusters ready to assess the damage and arrange repairs as soon as the floodwaters have subsided.”