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Home insurance : advice for homeowners and motorists

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With parts of Cornwall affected by major flooding this morning, Aviva already has claims experts on the ground, in the St Austell area, ready to help those who might be affected by the heavy rainfall.

Building contractors, surveyors and drying companies are also on standby poised to get into people’s homes and assess the damage once the waters have subsided.

“As soon as it is safe to do so our claims teams will start visiting customers’ homes and assessing the damage first hand” said Dominic Clayden, director of claims at Aviva.

“Flooding is one of the most traumatic events that a homeowner can suffer and for many people it will be the first time they have had to deal with an insurance company. So we know it is important to explain to people how it all works, what they can expect and what it means for their home and their family.

“Once we have assessed any damage we will be arranging drying equipment for those properties that need it and for those people who can’t remain in their homes we will be sorting out alternative accommodation as soon as possible.

“And where necessary we will be making emergency payments to customers to ensure they have enough money to pay for the essentials like baby food, cleaning products and emergency clothing.”

What to do if you have been flooded:

– Safety is paramount, but contact your insurer as soon as possible.

– Don’t touch any of your electrics – they could have been damaged by water and  become live.

– Start identifying items that have been damaged, make a list and take pictures if you can – this will make it easier to assess the damage and speed up your claim.

– If you can try and lift any items out of standing water – EG, if your carpets are saturated, try and raise any furniture off them on to wooden blocks this will prevent more water soaking into your belongings and help reduce further damage.

– Listen in to local weather reports in case further rainfall is forecast.

Your home insurance cover:
Flooding is covered as standard in home insurance policies. This means that any damaged caused to your property and belongings, as a result of the heavy rainfall, will be covered and if you have to move out of your home the cost of alternative accommodation is also paid for. We can also make separate arrangements for your pets too!

For motorists:

– If the flood water is above the bottom seal on the car door, do not open the doors as the water may well have not seeped fully into the car and the damage may be limited. Wait till the water has subsided before you attempt to open the car doors.

– If the flood water has got into the car, or even reached the underside of the car, do not start the vehicle as water in the engine would cause further serious damage.

– If the car wheels have been in water, but the water level did not reach the underside of the car, it should be safe to drive once much of the water has subsided.

– If water has seeped into your vehicle, call your insurer. They will inspect the vehicle as soon as they can and decide the most appropriate action.

Drivers in the area whose cars have not been affected by floods should still take care when driving in the affected areas. Debris and deep flood water can both seriously damage your car.

Source : Aviva Press Release