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Flood claims


floodsagain? Let’shopenot


If theworst does happen,makesureyourblockisprepared. Here is some advice from CHUResidentsline


on howtoget your flood


canexperiencethewarmth of an Indian summer, equally there is the chance of sub-zero temperatures and even a covering of snow. Statistically, autumnis the wettest part of


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theyearhereintheUK.For thoseofusinthe insuranceindustry, this timeof year brings the worry of possible widespread flooding and a surge in property damage claims. Forclaimsteamsthroughout thecountry


this canbeastressful time,but forthose peoplewhose homesare affectedbyaflood it canbetragicand traumatic. Owners,occupiers andpropertymanagers


should allbeconsidering ways to protect againstflood waters and, if theworst happens, making sure they knowwhat to do.


floodwarnings TheMet Office, Environment Agency and Scottish Environment Protection Agency all providewarningsofany threat posedbythe weather.Warnings canbeissued forrain, snow,wind, fogand iceand aregiven acolour dependingonhow likelyitisaweather event will occurandwhat impact itmayhave. Green means no severe weather; yellow upsthe ante to be aware;ambermeans be prepared;red means take action.


TakingprecauTions There are someprecautions that can be taken should a local flood warning be issued. Local radio stations are a great way to keep


up with developments andtheyprovide regularlocalweather forecasts.Abattery radioisalwaysagood thingtohavetohand, as stormsandfloodscan oftencause local powerfailures. Preparingaflood kittoinclude buildings, contents andmotor insurance documents,atorch,warmwaterproof clothing,afirst aidkit andany prescription medicines, bottledwater andasmall supply of non-perishable food is advisable. Somethingelsetoconsideriswho will need


help to get out of danger should a flood hit your block.Thismayinclude vulnerable residents within your development and any pets. If you have any flood protection products


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it’stHattimeofyeaRagain when,intheUK,ourweathercan becomeevenmoreunpredictable than normal.Whileattimeswe


damage claimdealt with quicklyand efficiently HoWtomake a claim


n Take photographs or videos of damaged property.


n Report your claimsstraightawayas alarge number of claimsmay cause a backlog. n Keep samplesofdamaged carpets, skirtingboardsand architravesto showquality and allowfor a true like for like replacement. n Keep receiptsfor replaced property in case you ever need to claim again. n Always telephone your insurance company to tell themyouwant to make a claim – itmaybe possible to avoid filling in forms.


use themas soon as a warning is issued. Products available fromyour local DIY store mayinclude airbrick covers,floorboards(to fit around windowsand doors),sandbags (pillow cases or plastic bags stuffed with soil will help if youdon’t have sandbags)and remember to block any waste pipes including the sink and bath wastes. Plugs weighed downby heavy objectscan stop flood waters coming up the pipes. As soon as there is a probability of flood water entering the premises, if timeallows, move items such as furniture, electrical equipmentand lightweight rugs to the highest point in your property andmove your car to higher ground.


flooded If the worst happens, themost important thingistostaysafe. Theemergency services will be in the area co-ordinating efforts. If youare askedtoevacuateyourhome, do so immediately. Call 999 if youare in danger.If


Whowill need help to get out of danger should a floodhit your block?


your homehas already been flooded and is underwater then remember that it is too late to save anything.Whatyou should consider iswhat youare goingtodowhenthe flood waters subside. Thefirst thingtodoistocall your insurance company,whoshouldhavea 24-houremergency helpline.Rememberyour insurers arethere to help andtheyare used to dealing with such circumstances. If youare stillathomebut need help with


preventing further damage, speak to your insurer.Iffor anyreasonthisisnot possible or they can’tassist in anyway then youneed to remember that youhavearesponsibility to limitthe damage.Also, keep anyreceiptsfor worksyou have done so that youcan present theseaspartofyourinsurance claim.If possible,takephotographs of thedamage; it’s thebest wayofshowingwhoeverdeals with your claimwhat happened andwhatdamage was caused. Remember that waterand electricityare not


agood combination: if your electricitysupply is notswitchedoff, askanelectrician to sort this outfor you. Do nottouch live electrical outletsorapplianceswhilethere is water around.


The insurance claim If youneed tomake aclaim,the first thingto do is to call your insurer’s help line number to logyourclaim andseekadvice. Damage to the structure of the building, including any com- munalareas,iscovered underthe buildings policy.Any removableitemsfromtheinternal areasofthe property arecovered underthe contents policy. It’s notalwayseasyfor aclaimshandler


to judge thevalue or severity of aclaim when it is first reported,soitcan be of real benefit to fully assess thedamageyourself. If youcan give an accurate report of the damage that has been caused andgive theclaimshandler an idea ofwhat urgent repairsare required this will enable themto make sure theright person is appointedto deal with your claim. Don’tthrow anything away,evenifyou are


confident that it cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced.You need to checkwith your insurer before disposingofany items. Your insurers will probably appoint a loss


Issue 16 Flat Living


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