How to make a claim for flood damage on your home insurance

UK flood insurance
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Related: Insurance claims surge in aftermath of storms Desmond and Frank

This week there have been even more flood warnings issued across the UK, with storms and heavy rainfall expected to cause damage to thousands of properties up and down the country.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a home insurance claim for flood damage.

Find out how you are covered

The majority of buildings insurance policies will cover you to restore your home if it has been damaged by fire, storm or flood.

This also usually covers the cost of removing debris and any professional fees that you may incur (for example, legal fees, surveyors fees etc.).

Repairing or replacing any damaged furniture and other belongings in your house should be covered by contents insurance.

Some insurance companies will also cover the cost of improving your home’s flood defences to avoid the situation happening again.

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Contact your insurance company

Most insurance companies provide a 24-hour emergency helpline for people to call if their home is flooded. If you find yourself in this stressful and devastating situation, you should call your insurer as soon as possible, especially in the case of a flood, as more damage can be caused with time.

Once speaking to your insurance company, you should arrange an appointment for a loss adjuster to visit your home to assess the damage and identify what repairs and/or replacements need to be made.

Keep records

Once a flood has hit and damaged your property, you should make a note of everything that is damaged and include the value of each damaged item. Where possible, you should take photographs of damaged property and items.

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It is important that you do not throw anything away unless you are told otherwise by your insurer.

In addition, you should make a note of all the phone calls you make to your insurance companies, including the date, times and who you spoke to. This will be invaluable to you, especially if anything were to go wrong or become messy.

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Any documents you have regarding you insurance are handy to have available, as well as any receipts of any items in your house. These aren’t crucial (as sometimes floods can damage this information) but anything you have can help you make an accurate claim and receive the correct amount of compensation.

What to do if you’re not satisfied

If you are unhappy and unsatisfied with the way that your claim against flood damage is handled, you are entitled to make a complaint against your insurance company.

To do this, you should contact the insurance company directly.

If your claim hasn’t been resolved within eight weeks, or if it has been rejected, you are entitled to take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).