After the floods - Advice for homeowners and motorists

Article date: 17 November 2010

  • UK’s largest insurer on the ground in Cornwall and ready to help

With parts of Cornwall affected by major flooding this morning, Aviva already has claims experts on the ground, in the St Austell area, ready to help those who might be affected by the heavy rainfall.

Building contractors, surveyors and drying companies are also on standby poised to get into people’s homes and assess the damage once the waters have subsided.

“As soon as it is safe to do so our claims teams will start visiting customers’ homes and assessing the damage first hand” said Dominic Clayden, director of 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 an insurance company. 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.

“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 be sorting out alternative accommodation as soon as possible.

“And where necessary we will be making emergency payments to customers to ensure they have enough money to pay for the essentials like baby food, cleaning products and emergency clothing.”

What to do if you have been flooded:

  • Safety is paramount, but 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.
  • Listen in to local weather reports in case further rainfall is forecast.

Your home insurance cover:
Flooding is covered as standard in home insurance policies. This means that any damaged 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!

* If you are an Aviva customer and your home has been flooded please contact Aviva household claims on: 0844 891 1222

For motorists:

  • If the flood water is above the bottom seal on the car door, do not open the doors as the water may well have not seeped fully into the car and the damage may be limited. Wait till the water has subsided before you attempt to open the car doors.
  • If the flood water has got into the car, or even reached the underside of the car, do not start the vehicle as water in the engine would cause further serious damage.
  • If the car wheels have been in water, but the water level did not reach the underside of the car, it should be safe to drive once much of the water has subsided.
  • If water has seeped into your vehicle, call your insurer. They will inspect the vehicle as soon as they can and decide the most appropriate action.

Drivers in the area whose cars have not been affected by floods should still take care when driving in the affected areas. Debris and deep flood water can both seriously damage your car.

Your motor cover:
Flood damage is covered as standard in fully comprehensive motor insurance policies.

*If your car is insured by Aviva and has been damaged by flood water please contact us on: 0800 678 9999


If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

Rebecca Homes: Aviva Press Office: 01603 685177/ 07800 690731

Jenny Chapman: Aviva Press Office: 01603 689894/ 07800 699668

Notes to editors:

Aviva is one of the world's largest insurance groups* with 53 million customers worldwide and 46,000 employees.

Aviva’s main activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion*.

In the UK, Aviva takes care of its 19.2 million customers by helping them look after their future, protecting what’s important – from their health to their homes, their cars to their business – and saving for the future. 

Aviva has a 10.5%** share of the UK life and pensions market and insures one in six homes and one in ten cars in the UK. It is also one of the oldest UK insurers, with a heritage stretching back more than 300 years.

RAC, which is owned by Aviva, provides breakdown and insurance services for individuals and businesses and has around seven million customers.

Aviva is carbon neutral worldwide, and is ranked in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. In the UK, Aviva invested £3.8 million into local communities in 2009. Read our corporate responsibility report at

Aviva’s global Street to School programme is working in partnership with Railway Children in the UK to get children living on the streets back into education and everyday life. Find out more at

The Aviva media centre at includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.

For broadcast-standard video, please visit

Follow us on twitter:

* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

** Source: ABI data released August 2010


Back to top