After a flood - making an insurance claim
Find out how to report flood damage to your insurance company. You’ll need to keep a record of the flood damage and any contact you have with the insurance company.
Check your policy and contact your insurance company
Different insurance policies provide different levels of cover. You may be able to get flood damaged items replaced or get professional help to clean up. Make sure you have your policy documents and check what you are covered for before you talk to your insurance company.
If you own your home
Contact your insurance company - tell them your home has been flooded and you want to make a claim. If you have moved to alternative accommodation, give the company your new contact details.
You may have one insurance policy to cover damage to the structure of your home, like walls, ceilings and floors, and another to cover its contents (things you own). If you have policies with two different insurance companies, you should phone them both.
If you live in rented accommodation
If you rent your home, contact your landlord to make sure they have contacted the company that insures your home. You’ll need to contact your insurance company if you have contents insurance. Tell them about the flooding and say you want to make a claim.
Questions to ask your insurance company
Your insurance company will send a ‘loss adjuster’ (someone who will assess the damage) to your home. The loss adjuster may not be able to come immediately if there has been a lot of flooding in your area. When you phone the insurance company, make sure you find out:
- how long it will be before the loss adjuster is able to come and survey the damage
- whether the company will organise and pay for cleaning and redecorating your home
- who will be your contact for your insurance claim at the company
Make a note of flood damage
When you return home, you’ll need to record the flood damage so you can show it to the insurance company. Make sure you do not remove or replace any items damaged without prior approval from your insurance company. The loss adjuster will need to know how much damage the flooding has caused for their assessment, so:
- use a permanent ink pen to mark the highest level that the flood water reached on the walls of each room
- take photos or make a video of the flood damage, if possible
- draw up a list that describes in detail all the flood damage to your home
- if your insurance covers you for food thrown away because it has gone off, or is contaminated, make a list of this as well
Keep a record of everything related to your claim
You should keep a detailed record of all phone calls to your insurance company and anyone cleaning up or repairing your home. This will help when you speak to your insurance company about your claim. When you make calls make sure you make a note of:
- who you spoke to
- the date and time you made or received the call
- what was agreed
It’s also important to:
- keep copies of all letters, emails and faxes you send or receive
- keep all receipts of any emergency repair work you have done, like fixing electric fittings, so you can claim back the money
Make sure you don’t throw anything away until the insurance company tells you to (except food that has gone off).