Read up on Flood Re – this is a government scheme designed to keep insurance affordable for people in high-risk flood areas
Understand your policy – home insurance usually provides cover for flooding, but protection varies between insurance providers. If you believe you’re at a high risk of flooding, take care to understand what you’ll be covered for before you buy the policy
Be prepared – you don’t need to create a laminated action plan – but think about your options. For example, where might you stay if your home becomes uninhabitable? What essential documents do you need to take with you? Does your policy provide cover for alternative accommodation? If so, is there a limit to the amount you can claim? If you have pets, who would look after them while your home is being repaired? There's a government guide to making a personal flood plan.
Adapt your home – if you live in a high-risk flood area, here are some practical measures you can take:
- raise your power sockets and wiring to 1.5m above floor level
- keep valuables and anything of sentimental value, eg photos, upstairs
- install stainless-steel kitchen units, rather than wood
- invest in doorway protectors, which expand and seal doorways when wet
- consider air brick covers or barriers
Stay safe when protecting your home – flood water is dirty, and you don’t want to come into contact with it. So, be sure to have plenty of rubber gloves around, along with waterproof boots or wellies. You can also buy anti-backflow devices for your toilets, which will reduce the risk of sewage entering your home
Be careful – water and electricity are a dangerous mix, so if you do have water in the house, don’t try to turn off the electricity yourself. Have an electrician’s number to hand, so you have someone to call in an emergency
Keep your evidence – make sure you have records of your valuables in case they are flood-damaged. Take a few photos and store any receipts – your insurance provider may want to see proof of purchase. We know you’ll want to get back to normality as quickly as possible, but try not to clear anything up until you’ve spoken to your insurance provider
Be ready for a potentially long process – flood damage often takes months and in some cases over a year to restore. This is because in most cases the house has to be completely dry before any restoration work can take place. You may need de-humidifiers to be fitted in your home for several months before any building work can take place. Your insurance provider should be able to keep you informed of progress and extent of damage after initial assessments.