The past week has brought with it some of the most damaging storms ever to have hit parts of the UK. Unlike other previous incidents the resultant floods have affected some of the most affluent parts of the country, including Kent and Surrey.
Due to the financial restrictions on funding for the Environment Agency, few resources have been devoted to the affected areas to prevent flood losses on the basis that existing flood prone areas have politically justified priority precautions. In the worst reported cases villages have been deliberately allowed to flood to protect more economically vital rural and industrial sites.
Planning restrictions on houses in flood plains have been lifted to allow for ridiculous targets by Government to increase building densities in the South East.
We in the insurance business have to live with this and our first consideration is to come to the assistance of those of our clients that have been and continue to be affected by a blitzkrieg of weather fronts flying over in the jet stream from the USA and Canada.
What can I do if I have suffered storm or flood damage?
The first thing to do is to contact your insurer, or your insurance broker, if you are lucky enough to have a good one. This is difficult at the moment, because so many people have been affected and staff levels have been affected by the holiday season.
Get your insurer to appoint an assessor to come and visit you. If the damage is not too severe and you have access to a reliable builder or contractor, tell the insurer what you are doing and retain copies of all receipts as part of the submission of your claim. Ask the loss adjuster to explain the limits of cover that you have in your policy. Household and Commercial policies both normally provide cover for alternative accommodation as well as for the physical costs of getting your property back to normal. At present our own loss adjusters are expecting disruption in the worst affected areas to last up to a minimum of six months.
It is easy to say things after the event, but the way to prepare against losses is to ensure that you have been given professional advice as to how to protect your property and also to have uptodate records of your belongings. Those client that have adequately prepared for the worst will find that their claims will be settled faster and more efficiently.
Over the next year this web site will provide case histories and useful other information to enable our clients to be prepared for the worst and to keep their insurance costs to the minimum.
Tel: 01306 734105