Homeowner flood advice

Weather forecasts may advise when floods are about to occur, however, if you live in an area prone to flooding, you should be prepared for this to happen at any time.

How to minimise or prevent damage from floods

If you have prior warning, ensure that any personal items and light furniture are moved upstairs or to higher ground (eg to a loft if you live in a bungalow), and that you know how to turn your water, gas and electricity off.

It’s a good idea to have a list of the contents of your home but if you haven’t already made a list of your possessions for such an emergency then you should do so as soon as you are safely able to get back into your property, before items are disposed of. Note what they are, their make and model, and take photographs if you can. This will speed up the claims process.

You can use the free Immobilise UK National Property Register to help you list out your contents.

What if there has been a flood?

Firstly, turn off your water gas and electricity, and unplug all electrical items if it is safe to do so.

If there has been widespread damage we will do all we can to maintain our usual levels of service but please be patient if it takes us a little longer than usual to get to your call. If you arrange your policy through a broker they may be able to provide you with advice and/or a claim form. Remember it is unlikely that contractors will be able to carry out any repairs until the weather conditions improve and they will usually only be able to work in day light.

If there is considerable damage in any particular region there may be a shortage of building contractors so it may take a little while before an emergency contractor can be provided by us or be located by you. Always check your policy documentation before you call us to make sure you have cover for the damage you are claiming for.

What should I do if a flood causes damage to my property?

  • Turn off your water, gas and electricity.
  • Call us on 0800 026 1757 as soon as possible if you need assistance or there is damage. It would be helpful to have your insurance documents to hand when you call.
  • Alternatively, if you prefer, you may download and complete a Home Insurance Claim Form, but please note that issue of the form is not acceptance of policy cover.
  • Make sure you make a note of the time your property was flooded, how long the water was in your home and the depth it was flooded to – making a mark on the wall if you can. All this information will be very helpful.
  • If you have had emergency repairs done before you alerted us of your claim for any reason – keep the receipts. We would advise you to avoid sanctioning any pre-claim repairs, unless absolutely necessary.
  • We will be able to advise you of the best course of action, depending on the severity of the damage.
  • We will confirm the level of cover you have for funding alternative accommodation and help you with the immediate task of finding somewhere to stay.
  • We will arrange for a loss adjuster and other specialists to visit your home to assess the damage.
  • We will arrange for emergency pumping to remove any remaining water before stripping away all the damaged items that cannot be saved or repaired.
  • Dehumidifiers will be installed to begin the drying out process, which may take weeks or even months depending on how long the water was in the property, how deep it was, and the type of property flooded. This needs to be done very carefully because if it’s done too quickly, it can cause cracking in the structure of the property and cause long term problems.
  • We will then organise a tradesman/supplier to begin disinfecting the property and putting anti-mould chemical treatments on the property before the next step, which is restoration of the building.
  • Repair work will get underway as soon as possible. This will consist of general restoration, repairs, and decoration. For example, the replacement of kitchen units if they were damaged beyond repair, new wiring, laying carpets, tiles and decorating a property prior to the furniture being replaced within the terms of your policy.