When we think of flooding, it’s easy for the mind to skip to news reports which show helicopter views of burst riverbanks and acres of land underwater. What you may not realise, however, is that there are actually seven external forces that could cause your home or business property to flood and necessitate a major home or business insurance claim. Let’s examine them.
This type of flooding is usually caused by heavy rainfall, although large volumes of melting snow can also create an issue. The rain falling on higher land is too much for the river structure to handle, causing the banks to ‘burst’ as they struggle to contain the volume of water rushing through. The water can move rapidly and be life-threatening, as well as destructive to property. Homes around the river, if on low-lying land, are vulnerable to flooding, in this eventuality. Cities and towns such as York, Manchester and Cockermouth have suffered this type of flooding and, in January 2021, Storm Christoph, caused many riverbanks to burst across the north.
Surface water flooding
A sudden dumping of rainfall in dramatic style is the cause of surface water flooding and with the impact of climate change, such downpours are becoming more commonplace. This is leading to more home insurance claims for surface water flooding and often in random areas, where homes may not have suffered the traumas of floods before. In this sort of flooding incident, the ground becomes saturated and drains and sewers are unable to cope with dispersing and carrying away the surface water. Heavy rain can also cause foreign objects to be carried into the drains, blocking them and creating more surface water woes. Any homes or properties located in lower-lying streets or areas can be impacted by an ingress of surface water.
Know all about those weeks when it never seems to stop raining and a pond forms in your garden? Well, those are precisely the ones that can lead to groundwater flooding, when the ground just cannot absorb any more water and the water table has risen to a degree that flooding is inevitable. Some types of soil are more susceptible to this type of flooding, and it can be a real enemy for homes and properties that have basements or cellars. Anyone lucky enough to have a wine cellar should beware, particularly if high-value wines are in the collection!
Homeowners living on the coast can be flooded by water that breaches coastal defences, typically during periods of high tides in stormy weather. However, even lower tides could have impacts if the sea defences are old or not secure. At times, sea water can also flood homes alongside rivers, if the tidal surge is such that it carries a body of water upstream.
A blocked sewer pipe, a rapid increase in the water entering the sewer system after a storm or a burst sewer pipe can all cause flooding from sewage – a most unpleasant form of flooding within any home or commercial building and another reason for many home insurance claims. Getting a loss assessor’s help, to move an insurance claim forward as fast as possible, could be invaluable with a sewer flooding claim.
Burst water mains
A failure of a water mains can cause water to accumulate around the mains which requires repair and build-up of this water can quickly see nearby homes placed at risk of flooding. Aspray handles home and property insurance claims for clients suffering this type of flood every year, stepping in to assist them as a professional loss assessor and their representative in their property insurance claim.
Dams and reservoirs
You may remember the news story about Toddbrook Reservoir, where it was thought the dam would fail and the homes of Whaley Bridge would be flooded? Whilst that thankfully did not happen, the UK’s dams and reservoirs are Victorian structures, with a clay core that requires frequent inspection, whenever seepage is detected. Repair works are undertaken at dams each year, to strengthen their water-retaining capacities. Other water-holding structures, such as mill ponds, are statistically more likely to cause flooding to a property but there is always a risk of flooding, when a vast body of water like a dam or reservoir is nearby.
Flooding and Your Insurance Claim
External forces can very quickly cause a flood issue at your property and sometimes without any warning at all. Flood water can enter your home through doors, windows, cracks in a property’s structure and air bricks too, but there are other ways – washing machine outlets, ground floor toilets and the foundations, to name just a few.
Should any of the seven causes of flooding affect your home or property, Aspray is here to assist, stepping in to be by your side, managing your claim from the moment it happens, right through to your property’s repair and restoration. Should you start to handle your claim and find it too much, we can become your loss assessor at any point or even review a claim which has been declined by your home insurance provider or commercial property insurer.
Floods are hugely distressing incidents but you do not have to go it alone. Similarly, you do not have to worry about Aspray’s fees, if you allow us to instruct our trusted contractors to handle your property repairs. In that instance, our service costs you nothing and you only need pay the excess that you agreed with your insurer.
To get help with your flood insurance claim, please call us on 0800 077 6705.