UK – Insurers Offer Advice on Recovery After Storm Dennis Floods

In the aftermath of Storm Dennis, which has flooded over 1,6000 homes in England and South Wales, a British insurance organisation is reassuring homeowners and businesses that have suffered flood and storm damage that insurers will be doing all they can to help them recover as quickly as possible.

Floods in Shrewsbury, England, after Storm Dennis, February 2020. Photo: Joe Ruscoe / Flickr, shared under CC BY-ND 2.0

According to advice from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), insurance customers should contact their home or commercial insurer, with most having 24-hour emergency helplines to help get claims moving as quickly as possible. Where needed, they will bring in extra resources to handle claims.

Homeowners concerned about being able to get future flood insurance, can be reassured that the industry developed Flood Re scheme means that they should be able to obtain affordable flood insurance.

The ABI said that, with masses of personal possessions ruined or damaged by the flooding, insurers do not want to hold up the recovery process by delaying the removal of flood damaged items. It will help the insurance claims process to have as much detail as possible about items which have been ruined, but insurers do not expect customers to keep piles of damaged belongings, so once you’ve spoken to your insurer you can:

  • Dispose of any items which pose a health risk, such as rotting food
  • List details of damaged items and take photos of them wherever possible before they are moved. For items like carpets and soft furnishings, try to take a cutting

Many drying and restoration companies can fully restore water damaged items, so if you are able to store them in the garden it may be worth keeping them for inspection and repair if possible.

Laura Hughes, Manager, General Insurance, Association of British Insurers, said:

Storm Dennis followed hot on the heels of Storm Ciara, and insurers were ready for it. Their first priority is to help those homeowners and businesses who have suffered damage recover as quickly as possible. This will include making emergency payments and arranging temporary alternative accommodation if needed.”

“Thanks to the Flood Re scheme devised by the industry, affordably priced flood insurance remains available to those households at high flood risk.”

The ABI also points out that:

  • Commercial polices will cover damage to premises and the stock. Business interruption cover (which may be included or purchased separately) will cover additional trading costs, such as hiring temporary alternative trading premises if necessary
  • Comprehensive motor insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by storms

See the full guidance from the ABI on responding to major floods here (pdf).