More stormy weather ahead for those in flood hit areas

Article date: 13 February 2014

With the run of bad weather set to continue across the UK, Aviva has surveyors, loss adjustors and contractors on the ground helping those affected.

Since before Christmas, Aviva claims teams have dealt with tens of thousands of calls from across the UK, with many claims being settled with a single phone call.

“Of course it is about dealing with claims, but it is also about offering support and advice. Our loss adjusters and building contractors are on the ground in the affected areas and are visiting customers’ homes and assessing the damage first hand,” said Aviva’s deputy claims director Rob Townend.

How Aviva is supporting customers

  • The Aviva household claims contact centre is open 24/7 (including on Christmas Day) and it has drafted in additional staff to ensure all calls are answered promptly. 
  • It has over 200 loss adjustors on standby in all areas across the country
  • Alternative accommodation is a standard part of Aviva’s home insurance – with the aim of finding suitable accommodation to suit the customer’s needs, be that short-term in a hotel or B&B or renting a suitable long-term property. Generally Aviva’s alternative accommodation cover is 20% of the buildings sum insured.
  • Often people prefer to stay with family and friends, payments are also made to help with that
  • It has emailed over 2000 customers in the Thames area giving them advice on what to do in the event of a flood and how they can contact us in the event of a claim

“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 how it all works, what they can expect and what it means for their home and their family,” said Townend

“And when it comes to storm damage there is no such thing as an “Act of God” exclusion - this is exactly what your insurance covers you for.

“So any damage caused to your property as a direct result of storm force wind and flood water is covered AND if you are forced to move out of your home the cost of alternative accommodation is also paid for. We will make emergency payments where necessary and we can make separate arrangements for your pets too.”

When bad weather has been forecast, there are simple things that can be done to minimise damage to precious belongings.

  • Move anything valuable or with sentimental value upstairs
  • Try and seal important documents – like your insurance policy -  in water-proof plastic bags
  • If you have sandbags or flood boards use them,
  • Plug sinks, baths  and toilets with heavy objects and disconnect washing machines and dishwashers to prevent any back-flow of flood water
  • 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

What to do if you have been flooded:

  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible
  • 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.
  • Wear protective gloves and wellies while you clean up for protection.
  • Walk carefully.  The water you’re wading through may be polluted or hide dangers like manhole covers.
  • Listen in to local weather reports in case further rainfall is forecast.

- Ends -

John Franklin    Aviva media relations    01603 680795      

Notes to editors:

Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 34 million customers worldwide.

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