After a flood - making an insurance claim
When your home is flooded, you need to report flood damage to your home insurance company. But you shouldn't return to you home until it's safe. You should keep a record of dates and times you contact your insurer.
Check your home insurance policy
Different insurance policies provide different levels of cover. Read your insurance documents to check what is covered before you talk to your insurance company. You may be able to get:
- flood damaged items replaced
- professional help to clean up
- temporary alternative accommodation if you need to move out while your home is being repaired
Your insurance policy will include an excess amount. This is the amount you must pay before the company pays a claim for damage.
If you own your home
Contact your insurance company to tell them your home was flooded and you want to make a claim. If you have moved to temporary 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 contents (things you own).
If you have policies with two different insurance companies, you should telephone both.
If you live in rented accommodation
If you rent your home, ask your landlord to contact 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 for contents.
Your policy will include an excess amount. This is the amount you must pay before the company pays a claim for contents.
Questions to ask your insurance company
Your insurance company will send a loss adjuster to assess the damage to your home. The loss adjuster might not 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 look after your insurance claim
Keep proof of flood damage
When you return home, you’ll need to record the flood damage so you can show it to the insurance company.
Don't remove or replace any damaged items without your insurance company's approval.
To assess your home, the loss adjuster will need to know damage to your home caused by the flooding. Before they visit, you should:
- use a permanent ink pen to mark the highest level that the flood water reached on the walls of each room
- take photographs or a video of the flood damage
- list details of all flood damage in your home
- list food you had to throw away because it was contaminated or has gone off
Keep a record of your claim
You should keep a detailed record of all telephone 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 telephone, you should note:
- who you spoke to
- 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 receipts of any emergency repair work you paid for, like fixing electric fittings, so you can claim back the money
Don’t throw anything away until the insurance company tells you to except:
- food that has gone off or become contaminated
- an item that's a danger to health
Getting home insurance
If you find it difficult to renew your home insurance because you had flooding, to search for a different insurer, go to: