The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has issued a bulletin reassuring homeowners and businesses hit by Storm Desmond that insurers “are doing everything possible to help them recover.”
The ABI listed some of the steps insurers are taking as follows:
• Arranging and paying for temporary alternative accommodation (or, for businesses, temporary trading premises).
• Drafting in any additional claims staff needed to give information and advice to customers whose properties have been flooded.
• Pro-actively contacting customers in flooded areas, through phone calls, texts and social media to see if they need to claim.
• Prioritizing elderly and vulnerable customers.
• Mobilizing teams of claims handlers to visit flooded customers as soon as possible to assess the damage and get claims moving. Insurers had representatives in badly flooded areas over the weekend.
• As soon as flood waters recede, visiting properties to assess the damage and arrange drying out.
• Doing all they can to ensure repairers are available to start repairs as soon as it is safe to do so.
• Making interim emergency payments to support flooded customers.
The ABI’s Director, General Insurance Policy, James Dalton noted: “Flooding brings misery to homeowners and businesses, which is why insurers are pulling out all the stops to help their customers recover as soon as possible.
“While it is too early to say what the cost of the flooding will be, insurers are geared up for events like this and have mobilized their contingency plans to help customers through this stressful time.
“While it will take time for badly flooded properties to fully dry out, insurers will arrange temporary alternative accommodation while properties are uninhabitable.”
The ABI also advised anyone affected by the floods as follows, indicating that they should:
• Contact their insurer for advice and to get their claim moving.
• If necessary, arrange temporary emergency repairs to stop any damage getting worse. Tell your insurer and keep any receipts, as this will form part of your claim.
• Do not be in a rush to throw away damaged items, unless they are a danger to health, as these may be able to be repaired or restored. Your insurer will advise.
• Only return to your home or business after a flood when it is safe to do so.
• It can take weeks, sometimes longer, for a property to fully dry out so do not be in a rush to redecorate. Your insurer can give you advice.
Source: Association of British Insurers (ABI)
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