With several storms down and more threatening the British Isles, homes and businesses are already counting the cost of barreling winds and months’ worth of rain. The damage of menacing floodwater engulfing villages, towns and cities are swiftly being followed by the scenes of personal devastation that will take months if not years to recover.
A snap poll conducted after Storm Ciara suggests that more than a third of households had experienced some damage to their home or property, ranging from a couple of tiles being blown off rooves to extensive flooding. With each household reporting an average of £750 of damage, and more than a third of the UK’s 27.2 million households affected, the damage caused by Ciara alone could be more than £7.75bn, according to calculations by home interiors business Hillarys.
The claims made to insurers are likely to be far less, with most households experiencing low levels of damage fixing the problems out of their own pocket. But early indications suggest Ciara alone will be responsible for around £200m worth of losses for homes, cars and businesses impacted by the storms, according to Mohammad Khan, general insurance leader and partner at PwC, with the full impact of Dennis and Ellen.
With further severe weather predicted, thousands more will need to claim on home, contents and car insurance, and experts warn that taking the wrong action in the heat of the moment could not only be dangerous but could also mean losing out on vital repair funds when they are most needed.
Aviva reported five times the typical number of insurance calls in the wake of Storm Dennis. And while the number of claims so far are lower for Storm Dennis than Storm Ciara, many more people have been affected by flooding – around 20 per cent of the number of claims so far.
If you’ve been or become a victim of flood damage in your home, it’s also a good idea to gather evidence by taking photos and getting professional reports on the damage.
Home insurance policies don’t all have the same cover. Things like alternative accommodation, escape of water from within the home, fences, hedges and gates will be treated differently by each insurer in a claim, so it’s important you’re checking the exclusions on your policy.
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