Don’t get washed out, simple flooding advice from CLA Insurance
September 3, 2013
Flooding is becoming an increasingly likely problem for home owners and businesses in the UK to contend with. In figures released by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP*, British insurers could pay out over £1bn in claims following the worst year for flood damage since 2007.
Be Prepared, limit the damage
- If you live in a flood area sign up to ‘Floodline Warning Direct’ from the environment agency, they will alert you of flood risks in your area.
- If you have regularly experienced flooding consider home flood defences, limiting the amount of water finding its way in through doors and windows, etc may reduce the damage. Preventative measures such as inflatable barriers for doors and windows, non-return valves for sewage systems and water proof membranes for the walls are all viable options although expensive compared to traditional sand bags.
When a flood warning is issued
- Make sure that before flood waters get too high that your gas and electricity supply is turned off and that all electrical equipment and precious personal belongings are moved to a higher floor where possible.
- Don’t travel in heavy rainstorms unless absolutely necessary. Keep an eye on weather reports on local television or listen to local radio for updates.
- Don’t attempt to drive through flooded roads or fords. Water is often deeper than it looks, and may be fast moving. A small amount of water ingress may render the engine useless, or in extreme cases your vehicle could be swept away.
What to do if you are flooded
- Call your insurance provider as soon as possible. The policies that CLA Insurance arrange for you, like many others, have 24-hour helpline numbers to call for advice.
- If you can, take pictures or videos of the damage as this may speed up your claim.
- Don’t dispose of any items of value, including water-damaged furniture, until confirmed by a loss adjuster.
- Get any emergency repairs that will prevent further damage done as quickly as you can. But don’t start permanent or decorative measures until these are authorised by your insurance provider.
- Don’t attempt to walk through flooded areas. Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris or deep channels.
- CLA Insurance arrange home insurance policies which may include alternative accommodation as standard. Check whether your insurance provider offers the same. It’s possible that you could be re-housed for a prolonged period, so keep a complete account of any additional expenditure with receipts.
- Floodwater may be contaminated, especially by untreated sewage. Wear protective clothing, rubber boots and gloves in and around the property.
- Clean all cuts and grazes. Anyone receiving a wound during flood recovery or clean up should have a doctor determine whether a tetanus booster is advisable.
- Small children, pregnant women and people with health problems should avoid floodwater and flooded areas until the clean-up is complete.
- Make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by an electrical engineer before switching back on. Switching them on before they have been inspected may cause serious injuries.
- The National Flood Forum advises that once all electrical safety checks have been made you use a circuit breaker with any electrical equipment you may use in, or to clean or repair your property.
- If you smell gas call the National Grid on 0800 111 999 or if you spot a potential hazard on or near overhead electricity lines, call 0800 404 090