How to recover from a flood

  • Record flooding has hit the UK in recent years
  • The average cost of repairing a three bedroom property is £30,000
  • We offer helpful guidance on how to recover following a flood

In recent years the UK has is experienced the worst floods on record. In 2013, for example, storm and tidal surge flooding affected more than 6,000 properties and resulted in 60 severe flood warnings being issued.

With a growing number of extreme weather events, we share some helpful guidance on how best to recover following a flood.

1: Contact your insurer

Notify your insurer as soon as possible following a flood to provide information that will assist them in dealing with your claim.

In particular, you should note the time the property was flooded and how long the water was in the home.

Also, make a list and take pictures of anything that is damaged by the flood.

Make sure you don’t throw away any items that need to be claimed for, as these will be used to support your claim.

2: The clean-up process

Your insurer will arrange a three step clean-up process for a flooded property:

  1. Remove water and mud – the Fire & Rescue Service will pump out standing water, in addition to the use of buckets and pump. The process should be followed by a wet/dry vacuum
  2. Clean and disinfect – floodwater will be contaminated, so the property should be disinfected after cleaning, helping to avoid mould and mildew
  3. Dry – fans, industrial heaters and dehumidifiers will be used to dry out the property. Drying out can take weeks or even months and if completed too quickly, it can cause damage to the property’s structure

3: The repairs process

Your insurer will send an approved supplier to the risk address to validate the claim. Providing you have adequate cover, and subject to the limits of your policy, the approved supplier will assess the repairs needed to put you back in the position you were in prior to the damage.

They will discuss the options available, which are likely to be either the appointment of an approved specialist supplier for both building works and contents replacement, or, if you prefer, the use of your own preferred supplier/s.

Whatever you choose, you will receive information regarding the required works and next steps, including anticipated timescales. If you have to move out of you home and into alternative accommodation this will also be discussed.

Once works are underway, you will need to seek agreement from the contractor to ensure it is safe to enter the property if you need to.

Do you have the correct cover in place?

The average cost of repairing a three-bedroom property is £30,000. It is therefore essential to have the correct cover in place and ensure all items are insured for their true value.

Underinsurance is a common problem,but easily avoided with the right care and attention. Go from room to room and make a note of all your contents. Check each room thoroughly and work out how much it would cost to replace everything with new items of similar quality at today’s prices. Always get a professional valuation or obtain professional advice for items that are difficult to replace, such as antiques.

Find out more and access helpful guides and insight with our new Flood Risk Resource.