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As the UK’s weather patterns become more erratic, flooding is affecting increasing numbers of homeowners throughout the country. Anyone within a potential flood zone and surrounding areas should have a disaster recovery plan in place which aims to get them back in their home in the shortest amount of time possible. The following information has been put together with the intention of helping you do just that.
There has been at least one flood in the UK every single year since 1998, and winter 2014 (1 December 2013 to 25 February 2014) was the wettest winter recorded since records began over 250 years ago.
Flood experts estimate that if your property is situated in a flood risk area, you are 30% more likely to experience flooding, the consequences of which can be disastrous, both emotionally and financially.
However, with a bit of foresight and planning, you can effectively protect your home from floods and minimise the amount of damage that flooding may cause.
Your buildings and contents insurance will offer cover in the event of flood damage. The cost of everything from drying out, repairing and restoring, to removing debris and legal fees should be included in your home insurance policy.
When looking for a insurance policy that includes all of these features there are a few things you can do to help the process. If you are in a high risk flood area then try to contact an insurance company that specialises in flood risk cover.
Contacting a wide range of insurers will give you a variety of prices to pick from, and an overview of the types of cover that are available. You can also invest in a flood mitigation survey, which will help you pinpoint what to do to reduce your exposure to flooding, and present your risk profile to insurers in the best possible light, which could reduce your premium.
For more information about making a flood insurance claim, read our full guide here https://www.morganclark.co.uk/guide-residential-flood.html.
With a little foresight and preparation, you can make sure your property is well-equipped in the case of a flood.
Having a flood plan in place will help to minimise potential damage and hopefully allow you to get back into your property as soon as possible. This should contain all the information needed during an emergency, such as contact numbers of your insurance company, utility suppliers and Loss Assessors.
Keep your flood plan in a safe and disaster-proof place (as well as in a waterproof document holder) along with any critical documentation like your insurance policy and important financial and legal documents.
With the unpredictability of British weather, floods can strike and wreak havoc at any time. By following these simple steps you can make sure you are well prepared for disaster, reducing the financial and emotional damage that may be sustained.
We have provided this quick checklist for you to easily print off, fill in and keep to hand with your other important insurance documents…
Your insurance policy number Your insurance company tel. number Local gas-safe plumber Local certified electrician
|Morgan Clark Loss Assessors||01978228646|
|Loss assessor Builder|
|Electrician Plumber/ heating engineer|
Contingency planning is all well and good but homeowners who are in known flood-risk areas will want to take practical steps towards minimising the damage caused by flooding.
There are many products on the market which can help prevent and protect a property from flood damage. Products approved by the British Standards Institution (BSI) are the most reliable, and tend to be widely available.
It is also useful to familiarise yourself with how to shut off the essentials in your home too. If you have gas, water and electricity, knowing how to turn them off may come in handy when faced with rising flood water.
Checking www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood will help you keep an eye on the weather and the water levels of nearby rivers which might be liable to flooding.
The Environment Agency also has a system here where you can enter your postcode and your flood risk will be calculated – if your postcode is not recognised then you can also enter your nearest town or river.
By combining practical steps with the implementation of a flood plan, you can protect your home from the impact of a flood to the best of your ability.
Met Office – www.metoffice.gov.uk – to check weather warnings
Sign up to the Environment Agency’s direct flood warning system here
National Flood Forum – http://nationalfloodforum.org.uk – for advice, prior to or after flooding
– Fire and Rescue / Police / Ambulance / Coastguard – 999 – if somebody’s life is in danger
– National Gas Emergency – 0800 111 9990800 111 999 – if you are worried about or smell a gas
– Environment Agency – Floodline – 0845 988 11880845 988 1188 – for a 24 hour helpline / pre-recorded advice
– NHS 111 – for non-emergency health concerns
– RSPCA – 0300 1234 9990300 1234 999 – for injured or distressed animals
– Highways Agency – www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information – for traffic information
– Citizens Advice Bureau – http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk – for insurance / claims advice
– Water company – http://www.water.org.uk/home/our-members/list-of-companies – to contact your local water authority
– County Council – http://www.countycouncil.org.uk – find your local county council for public health issues
Despite plenty of warning, planning and preparation, there can be some instances where even this is not enough to prevent your home from flooding. In the event of a flood, the safety of you and your family will be your number one priority. The clean-up operation can be a long, expensive and arduous task, but by implementing an effective plan prior to the flood, you can make this as hassle-free as possible.
Flood water can be very unsanitary, bringing silt, dirt and sewage into your home. Keeping yourself healthy in these conditions can be difficult, but there are simple things you can do to ensure you don’t endanger yourself or expose yourself to anything harmful.
When re-entering the property yourself:
The following should be carried out by a professional restoration company:
Clear thinking can be difficult in a crisis situation. Therefore, we’ve prepared a basic list of some items that you might like to have on hand before and during a flood:
Managing a flood insurance claim can be an extremely complicated affair, which is in turn time consuming and stressful for the individual responsible for managing the claim. A Loss Assessor alleviates this stress by managing the whole claims process on your behalf.
As part of the claims management service, a Loss Assessor will typically offer the following services:
As the homeowner, you have ultimate control over your insurance claim. You can choose your Loss Assessor’s style of management; this can range from handing over complete control (other than major decisions) to them, through to working in close partnership together throughout the process.
Put simply, the Loss Assessor can manage the entire insurance claims process for you, allowing you to focus on what matters most – keeping you and your family safe, and getting back into your property as quickly as possible.
A Loss Assessor can assist you at any stage of a claim, however the sooner you bring them on board the better. Drafting in a Loss Assessor prior to submitting a claim will help ensure you remain in control and that you receive everything you are entitled to under the terms of your insurance policy.
Loss Assessors will liaise with your insurance company and all other involved parties on your behalf, including brokers, surveyors, contractors, solicitors, loss adjusters etc. This means that every aspect of your claim will be managed by the Loss Assessor, from putting in the initial claim, to when you move back into your property.
There is a lot of confusion about the difference between Loss Adjusters and Loss Assessors. Whilst the two may sound similar, their roles in the insurance claim process are very different.
Depending which loss assessing firm you use, there is usually a degree of flexibility with regard to how you manage your claim. The most common scenarios are as follows:
1. The firm will assign you a Loss Assessor and introduce you to other professionals you might need in the claims process, such as; chartered surveyors, a contents specialist and builders. There is typically no fee for this arrangement.
2. Alternatively, you may prefer to use your own builder, in which case the firm will work with them to guide them through the claim process, by using your own builder you’ll likely incur a small fee.
With an abundance of Loss Assessors out there it can seem difficult to know which one to choose. Here is a list of questions to consider carefully when hiring a loss assessing company:
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