By Maximilian Clarke

As the torrential rains that have brought flash flooding in their wake sweep further into the UK, damage to properties and businesses is increasing in value and in scope.

But the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have today reassured property owners that insurance companies will pay for damage wrought in most cases.

“Events like this are exactly why people take out insurance,” says Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance. “Insurers plan for bad weather, and will have arrangements in place to minimise distress and inconvenience and help people recover as quickly as possible. Some, for example, will identify and contact their policyholders in areas affected to get any claim moving as quickly as possible”.

People who have suffered damage to their property or contents should:
- Contact their 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.
- Don’t 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.

With the risk of further flooding predicted, people should:
- Move whatever is possible and safe to do so to any upper floors.
- Make sure that you have emergency telephone contact numbers for your insurers, local authority and utility companies in a safe waterproof place.
- Listen out for flood warnings on local radio and TV

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

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