Q&A: What to do if your house is flooded

23 11 2007


What to do if your house is flooded.
There’s water everywhere – what should I do?

If your home is actually underwater it’s too late to worry about saving existing items, but you can start thinking about what to do once the waters start to recede. Your first step should be to call your insurance company – most have 24-hour emergency helplines.

What if I can’t find my policy document?

Don’t panic – your insurer should be able to find you on its database. Look on its website or call a directory enquiries line to get its number. Remember that your building and contents cover may be with different companies so you may need to put in two calls. If you car is also under water you will have to call your motor insurance company as well. Bear in mind you will only be able to make a claim if you have fully comprehensive cover.

What should I do next?

If you are able to stay in your property but need help to prevent further damage, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) recommends you speak to your insurer before arranging emergency repairs, and that you keep any receipts for work done so you can claim for the cost. Where possible, take photographs to record the damage as this could help with your insurance claim.

Also remember that water and electricity don’t mix, so make sure the electrics are checked out before you flick any switches – you should be able to claim for this on your buildings policy. Don’t just throw things out, even if you think you will need to replace them. For example, you may be able to claim for new kitchen units if your current ones have soaked up water and are beyond repair, but you should try to dry them out and keep them until a loss adjuster has seen them.

A loss adjuster will be sent round by your insurer to assess what damage has been done and to work out how much your pay out should be…”

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