By Claire West

As a result of the recent bad weather insurers will be geared up to deal quickly with flood claims. The following advice has been issued from the Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Aidan Kerr, Head of Property at the ABI, commented:

“As the UK experiences heavy rainfall, insurers will be geared up to help customers affected by flooding as quickly as possible. Flooding can be traumatic and disruptive, but unexpected events like this are exactly what insurance is for.

Flooding is covered as standard in home insurance policies and people affected should contact their insurer to get their claim moving.”

If bad weather is forecast:

· Make sure you have emergency contact numbers for your insurer, local authority and utility companies to hand in a safe waterproof place.

· Listen out for bad weather warnings on local radio and TV.

· Check the Environment Agency’s website and sign up for their free flood warning service.

· Make sure any unsecured items, like ladders in gardens, that can cause damage in high winds are secured.

· If you have a car, try and move it away from where flooding is expected.

· Check if it is safe to use electricity, gas and water supplies.

If you have suffered flood damage to your property or contents you should:

· Contact your home insurer as soon as possible. Most will have 24-hour emergency helplines, which can give advice on next steps and arrange repairs as quickly as possible.

· If necessary, arrange temporary emergency repairs to stop any damage getting worse. Tell your insurer and keep any receipts, as this will form part of your claim.

· Do not be in a rush to throw away damaged items, unless they are a danger to health, as these may be able to be repaired or restored. Your insurer will advise.

· It can take weeks, sometimes months for a property to fully dry out so do not be in a rush to redecorate. Your insurer can give you advice.

· Do not do anything that will put you or your household at risk.

What is covered?

· Household buildings and contents policies will cover flood and storm damage, including that caused by storm winds. If your home is uninhabitable, your insurer will usually pay for temporary accommodation while it is being repaired.

· Motor insurance covers damage to vehicles under comprehensive policies. Again, contact your insurer as soon as possible to get your claim moving. Some policies may provide you with a replacement vehicle if the damage is repairable.

· Business insurance policies will cover storm damage to premises and stock.

· Business interruption cover (which may be included or purchased separately) will cover additional costs, such as hiring temporary premises, if needed.