Whilst on holiday in the West Country last week, I seemed to spend most of my time moored up somewhere sheltering from the heavy rain. My family laughed when I came home a few days prior to the holiday with a new mac but, I was acting on the very accurate weather app on my I phone that was predicating heavy showers. After working in insurance for so long,I was not surprised that the sight of heavy rain made me subconsciously think of insurance, and the number of claims, they would be receiving back in the office. Anyone that has been unlucky enough to be a victim of a flood will tell you what a terrible event it is. It is sometimes difficult to imagine the scope of the damage that can be caused and the insurance bill can run in to, tens of thousands of pounds. This is one of the benefits of having a home insurance policy, unless explicitly excluded, loss or damage caused by flooding is one of the major perils covered, as is alternative accommodation if you home becomes uninhabitable following a flood.
I’m a firm believer that prevention is better than cure, and whilst there is not always a great deal you can do to prevent a flood, there are some steps you can take to minimise the damage and hence the disruption caused.
One of the main problems with flooding in recent years is that it is now occurring in some areas that have no previous flooding history, and because of this, it’s all too easy to take a casual approach when the weathermen warn of heavy downpours.
Rain no longer seems to fall gently but rather in torrential downpours, and it is this sheer volume of water falling in such short spaces of time that can cause serious problems with the inability of the drains to cope with it. Added to this, that drains and gulleys may be blocked with rubbish and waste and you can have a potential disaster on your hands. I was amazed a few weeks ago to see water coming back up out of the man hole covers on our local high street.
Home insurance policies do include the peril of flooding but, it is still important to do you all you can to help prevent a loss and be safe.
When floods occur, you should be prepared to act quickly and get yourself to safety. Always consider the safety of people first and listen to any advice given from the Police and the Emergency Services. Remember that their concern is for your safety and if they ask you to move, there will be a very good reason. Listen to your local radio or television and pay close attention to any flood alerts. Move any vehicles to higher ground if possible and if you know you are at risk, a good idea to move any valuable contents in your home to the upper floors. As there may be an electricity supply failure following a flood it’s a good idea to keep paper copies of your insurance documents to hand, you may need to call your insurance company and having all the documents to hand can help cut down on stress.
For some reason, flood water seems to attract many people, often just to see the extent of the damage being caused. However, please remember, flood water is dangerous, and it is vitally important not to walk through it. As little as two feet of water can float a car and manhole covers dislodged by floodwater can be very dangerous.
Please remember these points and remain safe
- As little as six inches of, fast flowing water can knock you over
- It only needs two feet of water to float some cars
- Dislodged man hole covers in roads can be very dangerous and present unseen hazards
- Never walk or drive through flood waters
- Never allow children to play near flood waters
- When flood waters are high, it may be especially dangerous to use bridges