- Some homes in the North West of the UK already damaged by flooding and gale-force winds
- Read our checklist of things to do to prepare for flooding and bad weather
- Know how much home insurance cover you have and how quickly your insurer will help put things right
What can I do to prepare for storms and bad weather?
Create a list of emergency contact numbers to call in case your home is damaged by flooding or storms. You’ll want to include any home emergency helplines offered by your insurer, local authorities and utility companies. It’s a good idea to save all the numbers you need on your mobile phone – make sure it’s always fully charged in case of an emergency.
Keep an eye on weather forecasts and warnings for your area. The Met Office has a colour code to help you prepare for severe weather (Green = No severe weather / Yellow = Be aware / Orange = Be prepared / Red = Take action)
Make some practical preparations around the home; know where your fuse box is (it might be an idea to turn off fuses to low-level sockets that could be affected by any flooding) and clear drains and gutters of any leaves to help water drain away properly
Move your car away from areas that are likely or prone to flooding; park at the top of a slope or hill if you can
If you’re able to, move important possessions upstairs and keep valuables locked safely away in a waterproof container, that can be moved to an upper floor
Secure anything in your garden that could cause damage to your home in a storm, such as loose ladders or garden furniture
Lastly, have a copy of your Home Insurance policy documents and your policy number to hand too. It will be useful if you do have to call to make a claim.
What to do if your home has been affected
It’s important to let your insurer know as soon as possible if you need to make a claim. Refer to your policy documents to see what to do if your need to claim on your home or contents insurance.
If the flooding is really serious and you need help straightaway, your policy might also include a 24 hour emergency service. Normally this service provides access to approved tradespeople who are on hand to make damage limitation repairs to your property.
I’ve phoned to make a claim - should I go ahead and arrange for repair work to be done myself?
If you have home emergency help as part of your policy, there shouldn’t be a need for you to organise your own repair work to stop any further damage from occurring. Call your insurer and they’ll let you know if you need to take any action yourself.
If you do need to organise temporary repairs, keep detailed records of all the work carried out, as well as any costs and paperwork. This will help your insurer to pay your claim quickly and efficiently.
What happens if I have to move out?
In some cases, flood damage can be so extensive that you may have to move out of your home so structural repairs can take place safely. Check your policy booklet to find out the maximum amount payable for your alternative accommodation allowance. Knowing you won’t have to stay in budget accommodation will be one less thing to worry about should you have to move out for a short time.