Severe flooding hit parts of the UK following Storm Ciara’s destructive visit over the weekend. With a month and a half’s worth of rainfall within 24 hours and winds of up to 97mph, some homes and commercial properties had to be evacuated as rivers burst their banks and roads flooded.
But do you know what to do next if you find your property flooded and what constitutes good advice when it comes to property insurance claims? To help you, loss assessor and property claims management specialist, Aspray, has the following advice.
- Do not wade through deep water, as there can be a variety of hazards that you cannot see, which could lead to you tripping up and incurring an injury.
- Turn the electricity off at the mains, if there is standing water in the property or significant dampness. Be careful not to touch electrical appliances or sockets, until you have done this. Water is a fabulous conductor of electricity and you could easily suffer an electric shock.
- Call your insurance company and tell them your property has been flooded. Ask them how long it will be before they can send someone out to view the damage. At this point, consider whether you would like a specialist like Aspray to handle your claim – at no charge to you when Aspray’s vetted contractors carry out the repairs.
- Mark the height that the water reached in each room on the wall. This will help the insurer’s loss adjuster consider the structural damage, as well as contents damage, that has occurred.
- Take photos and videos of the scene, if you can, as this will provide a good bank of evidence to back up your claim.
- Make a list (inventory) of everything that was damaged, making sure to list things that are less visible, such as lost data or digital assets. Do not throw anything away, other than contaminated food, until you have permission to do so.
- If you need to have emergency repairs carried out immediately, make sure you get receipts from the tradespeople you call in.
- Establish (in writing) if you have agreement to pay for temporary accommodation, as your home may be contaminated and a risk to your health.
- If you are able to stay in the property and it is safe to bring in drying out equipment, note the reading on your electricity meter before you start to run the equipment. Opening windows will also help the property dry out.
- If you are trying to handle your own claim, keep good notes of conversations and the dates and times on which you had them.
Handling a home or commercial property insurance claim can be daunting but remember that it is your right to appoint a loss assessor to liaise with the insurer’s loss adjuster and represent your interest in the claim. If you appoint Aspray, the service can come free of charge. Visit www.aspray.com for more details or call 0800 077 6705.