After a flood - making an insurance claim

When your home is flooded, you need to report flood damage to your home insurance company. You should keep a record of dates and times you contact your insurer.

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 professional help to clean up.

Read your policy documents to check what  is covered for before you talk to your insurance company.

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 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 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’ (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 looking 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
  • if your insurance covers  food thrown away because it has gone off, or is contaminated, make a list

Keep a record of everything related to 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).

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