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Home / Property Insurance / Home Insurance / Time to Check Your Building and Contents Insurance Policies Again

Time to Check Your Building and Contents Insurance Policies Again

Whilst globally, most eyes have been on the hurricanes; Katrina and Ike that have been threatening the coast of the Caribbean & continental USA, parts of the United Kingdom have again also been suffering from the effects of torrential rain. As all today’s date, they are still over 40 flood warnings in place and with more rain forecast, parts of the country are again bracing themselves for the likelihood of property damage. The forecasts of more torrential rain, are causing concern amongst many homeowners particularly in the north east of the country, where the cleanup operation following the floods over the weekend has barely got underway. The counties of Yorkshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, have been the worst hit with many people having to be evacuated from their homes. In Morpeath, county Northumberland, the town witnessed it’s worst flooding in over 40 yeas, almost cut off, at one point, a RAF helicopter had to be used to rescue stranded residents.

The environment agency are predicting that floods are likely to become more severe before they recede as the rainwater is now draining into the river systems. It is expected that repair work may take many months to fully complete. One off the problems of the recent spate of rainfall has been the fact that the downpours are severe and can happen in a very short space of time. In some areas, rainfall up to 10 mm has fallen in a 24 hour period, this volume of rainfall puts a severe pressure on the drainage infrastructure all UK towns and many local authorities have been caught napping with some public drains on highways being need of a much needed clearout.

Whilst the majority of UK do have some form of buildings and contents insurance, and the peril of flooding is typical. ( If you have a mortgage on your home, having flood insurance is one of the perils listed in the requirements of the Council for mortgage lenders handbook) the Association of British insurers, as stating, they believe that as many as one in four homes nationwide, do not have flood insurance. In areas that have suffered repeated flooding or flooding in the past, some people have decided to insure properties, without flooding insurance cover, because of the prohibitive cost, or because insurance cover is simply not available. Insurance companies are constantly redefining their flood maps, and now many people that are living in close proximity to water courses, often finding that their premiums are increasing or cover is simply not available.

Any homeowner that is worried about the possibility of flooding in their property, should contact the environment agency, either on the telephone or by visiting their website. Telephoning the local authority, will also be useful, they should be able to provide information as to the likelihood of flooding at most locations. On the environment agency website, useful data and maps are available, providing detailed information as to the potential risk in different postcodes. However, many homeowners have experienced fairly severe damage to their properties, even though their homes do not on at first glance appear to be susceptible to flood damage. Many local authorities have been caught out by the sheer volume of rainfall and have found that there street drainage systems have been unable to cope with the volume off water falling in a short spaces of time.

if you’re property has been damaged by flooding, it is advisable to contact your insurance company as a matter of urgency. They will certainly want to provide you with advise as to how to limit your losses and our course will be very experienced in flood restoration work. and may be able to offer immediate assistance. It is not normally advisable to give your own instructions to proceed to reinstate either your building or contents, without prior agreement from your insurance company. In many situations, the insurance company would have access to a panel of repairers, that will call at your home and then liaise directly with the insurance company. These trade’s people that are on insurance panels have usually carried at work previously in the past and thus the insurer is satisfied that there skills and expertise are adequate. By allowing the insurance company to use one of their panel off approved contractors, you also be helping to keep down the final bill, which of course could affect your insurance premium at a later date.

Whilst damage to your property is covered by flooding, most people do not realize that almost all insurance companies will also provide up to a percentage of the value of your property, in respect of alternative accommodation cover. On a building with a sum insured over 200,000 pounds, the sum insured is likely to be 40,000 pounds. This money can be used to provide temporary accommodation for you whilst your home is being reinstated. In many cases the insurance company are able to put you up on a temporary basis in a hotel, or when the restoration work looks like it will take a lengthy amount of time. they may rent a property for you. However, before you decide to book your self into a hotel or rent alternative property, please speak to your broker or insurance company to make sure that you do have this cover, under your policy, they will probably want to make arrangements for you.

When you intend to move back in to the property, please make sure that mains supplies to the premises, all water or electricity and gas have been fully checked by a qualified person. Only, when they are satisfied as to the safety of the systems, should reconnection is made. Any electrical appliances should be tried and tested by a qualified electrician before you attempt to switch them back on. Gas appliances should be tested by a Corgi registered gas engineer. There is always a temptation with flood damage items such as carpets, to dispose of them as quickly as possible. However, It is not a good idea to dispose off damaged items prior to them being inspected by an insurance company, if you must dispose of items for health reasons, taking photographs of them will certainly help to prove that they have indeed been damaged by flooding, however, always to speak to your insurance company or their representative before you to dispose of any items. This should help your claim proceed without any unnecessary delays.

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