Flood Insurance


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If you live in an area at risk of flooding, you’ll want to be ready for the worst. Home insurance can help protect your home and possessions against damage, and high costs, in the event of a flood.

What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance is included in most buildings insurance policies. It typically covers damage to the property itself - the bricks and mortar - along with fixtures and fittings. To cover your possessions, you’ll need to have a home contents insurance policy.

Am I covered for damage caused by flooding?

Damage caused by flooding is typically covered as standard under a home insurance policy. Each policy is different, so check your details if you’re concerned about flood damage. If you’re a homeowner, you might have buildings and contents insurance to protect your home and possessions.

 

However if you’re renting, it’s usually up to your landlord to take care of damage to the buildings and you’d need to make sure your possessions are covered.

What type of flood damage is covered by buildings and contents insurance?

Buildings insurance covers damage caused by flooding and will typically include:


• The cost of drying out everything in a home

• The removal of debris to repair your property

• Damage to permanent fixtures and fittings, such as a fitted kitchen

 

Contents insurance generally covers the cost of repairing or replacing:

 

• Furniture and carpets

• Personal belongings

• Electrical goods and equipment – some policies will offer cover for goods stored in outbuildings

What else should I know about flood damage?

When it comes to flood damage, we generally mean flooding from “natural sources” like excessive rain or a river bursting its banks.

 

If you have a burst pipe it may look like your home has been flooded, but if this water came from a pipe then it will likely be referred to as an “escape of water” and come under a different section of your policy.

Is my home in a flood risk area?

An estimated five million homes in the UK are at risk of flooding. To see if your home is in an area of flood risk, visit the government's website.

 

In 2016 the government, along with insurance companies, launched a scheme called Flood Re. This was created to help limit flood insurance costs, ensuring that homeowners in flood-risk areas could get affordable insurance.

 

Flood premiums have become more competitive since the launch of Flood Re, so it’s a good idea to spend time doing your research and shop around to get a great quote on flood insurance premiums.

How can I protect my home from flooding?

If you live in a flood risk area, it’s important to take steps to limit the damage to your property before a flood hits. You could:


1. Write a flood plan Think about putting together a plan for your household, and check whether your community has advice for before, during and after a flood

 

2. Protect electrical devices Raise your sockets at least 1.5 metres above the floor, and mount televisions against the walls


3. Use robust materials Stainless steel or plastic fittings may be better than chipboard


4. Move valuables Keep your precious items, and important documents, upstairs and consider putting them in waterproof bags

How long does a flood insurance claim take?

The amount of time it takes to resolve a flood insurance claim can vary depending on the extent of the damage. If your home floods, you’ll need to report any damage to your home insurance provider immediately.

 

Depending on your policy, you may be offered temporary accommodation until your home is repaired. Minor damage could be resolved in weeks, however for more significant damage this is likely to take months as the process to dry a property after flooding can be significant.

 

Here are some tips to help your claim:


• Take photos of any damage, and don’t remove anything affected until you’ve made your claim or you’ve been instructed to by your claims advisor


• Find out how long it’ll take for the loss adjuster to survey the property. A loss adjuster is an expert who is sent to your home by an insurance provider, to assess the damage to your home and help you through the claims process


• Keep a record of everything related to your claim. There might be a lot of people involved in getting you back on your feet, so keep track of phone numbers and who you need to contact

 

If you’re renting, you should contact your landlord or letting agent as soon as any flooding occurs. Remember, your landlord is usually responsible for any damage to the building you live in, but you’ll need to arrange insurance for the contents you own.

 

Read our guide on protecting your home from flooding.

How can I keep insurance costs down?

We’ve already covered some of the measures you can take to help keep the cost of flood insurance down. The other thing to do is shop around. You can compare home insurance at comparethemarket.com.

Hit the ‘start a quote’ button, select the options that suit your needs, and we’ll list out a range of home insurance quotes. See how much you could save on covering your home against flooding today.

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