Article date: 6 July 2012
With torrential rain sweeping across the country the UK’s largest insurer has its network of claims teams and building contractors on standby to help those who might be affected by the extreme weather.
Claims centre staff are geared up to answer calls from those affected and surveyors and drying companies are poised to get into people’s homes and businesses to assess the damage once waters have subsided.
“Getting out to customers will be the priority,” said Carole Gallagher, head of property claims at Aviva.
“Flooding is one of the most traumatic events that a homeowner can suffer and for many people it will be the first time they have had to deal with such disruption to their lives. So we know it is important to explain to people what they can expect and what it means for their home and their family.
“Once we have assessed any damage we will be arranging drying equipment for those properties that need it and for those people who can’t remain in their homes we will make arrangements for alternative accommodation.
“And where necessary we will be making emergency payments to customers to pay for the essentials like baby food, toiletries and emergency clothing.”
What to do if you have been affected:
- Contact your insurer as soon as possible – and ensure you leave all possible contact details with them
- Don’t touch any of your electrics - they could have been damaged by water and become live
- Start identifying items that have been damaged, make a list and take pictures if you can – this will make it easier to assess the damage and speed up your claim
- If you can, try and lift any items out of standing water – eg if your carpets are saturated, try and raise any furniture off them on to wooden blocks this will prevent more water soaking into your belongings and help reduce further damage
- Listen in to local weather reports in case further rainfall is forecast
- Your insurer will appoint a loss adjustor who will help manage your claims and discuss with you all the repairs that need doing
- Your loss adjustor/insurer will arrange Alternative Accommodation for you, discuss with them what your needs are – how many rooms you need, what your work and school arrangements are
- Your home will need to dry out properly before it can be repaired, re-decorated and furnishings put back, so be prepared that you could be out of your home for many weeks if not months
- Interim payments can be made for essential items and belongings.
Your home insurance cover:
Like storm, freeze, gales or tornadoes, flooding is covered as standard in home insurance policies. This means that any damage caused to your property and belongings, as a result of the heavy rainfall, will be covered and if you have to move out of your home the cost of alternative accommodation is also paid for. We can also make separate arrangements for your pets too!
Your motor cover:
Flood damage is covered as standard in fully comprehensive motor insurance policies.
What to do if flooding is forecast:
- Move anything valuable or with sentimental value upstairs
- If you can, move furniture upstairs or try and raise it onto bricks above ground level
- Try and seal important documents – like your insurance policy - in water-proof plastic bags
- If you have sandbags or flood boards use them
- Put the lid down on your toilets and place something heavy, like bricks on top, to stop the water coming in through waste pipes
- Put plugs in baths and sinks, weigh them down with a sandbag, pillowcase or plastic bag filled with garden soil or a heavy object
- Be ready to turn off gas and electricity, unplug all electrical items and move them upstairs
- Prepare a flood pack – fresh water to drink, warm clothing, a mobile phone and a battery operated radio to tune into local radio stations
- Think about your pets and any elderly or vulnerable neighbours
- If you have to leave your home remember to take any medication you may need with you
- Of course safety is paramount, but if you are affected by flood water call your insurer as soon as possible.
If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:
John Franklin +44 (0)1603 680795 or Rebecca Holmes on +44 (0)1603 685177
Notes to editors:
Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 43 million customers worldwide.
We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.
We are ranked as one of the UK’s top 10 most valuable brands and Aviva plc are in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. In 2011 we invested £5.3 million into our UK communities. One in three of our employees were involved in community investment activities which included giving nearly 33,000 hours.
Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.
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