After the storm...

After the storm...

 

Nowadays storms have names. But that doesn’t make them any friendlier.

Take Storm Desmond, for instance. When this record-breaking storm struck on 5 and 6 December, severe gales and heavy rainfall brought devastation to parts of the UK. North West England was particularly badly hit: in Cumbria and Lancashire alone, more than 43,000 homes suffered power cuts and 5,200 were affected by flooding1.

At Aviva, we’ve always known how important it is to act quickly to bring people the support and reassurance they need at times like this. An important part of this is recognising that when someone is focussed on getting their family and possessions out of a flooded home the last thing on their mind will be finding their policy documents, or even calling their insurer. That shouldn’t stop them from getting the urgent help they need.

This is why we made sure we had a team on the ground at each of the rescue centres set up in Cumbria during the worst of the flooding. As well as talking to people at the centres, our people were also out and about knocking on doors, not sitting back waiting for claims. Providing practical help to people affected and advice to those who remained at risk was our top priority – regardless of whether they wanted to make a claim.

Dave Lovely, Aviva’s Claims Director, takes up the story:

“We can’t stop the weather, but we can work tirelessly to support our customers affected by the events brought by Storm Desmond. We visited customers where we could physically get to them, and had a presence at each of the rescue centres to provide support.

“Cover for flood and storm damage is a standard part of Aviva’s home insurance policy. This means that any damage to property and belongings will be covered, and if customers have to move out of their home because it is uninhabitable, the cost of alternative accommodation is also paid for – and we can make arrangements for pets too.

“Once we have assessed any damage we install drying equipment for those properties that need it. Where necessary, we make emergency payments to customers to ensure they have enough money to pay for essentials like baby food, nappies and clothes.”2

“Aviva were brilliant”

Mercifully, extreme weather events don’t come around all the time. But we certainly have no shortage of bad weather in the UK – meaning Aviva has had plenty of experience in understanding what people need from their insurer when making a claim for flood or storm damage. When local rivers broke their banks in Somerset last year, people like retired couple Bridget and Malcolm Goodland found themselves flooded out of their homes. Some – the Goodlands included – were unable to return for weeks or even months. Bridget explained how we were able to help them:

“Aviva were brilliant. We were nervous as we hadn’t made a claim before, but they were kind and supportive and led us through the process. They didn’t quibble about anything on our £38,000 claim for damaged contents. We were out of our home for seven months which was pretty awful, but we came back to it fully restored.”3

In the aftermath of the stormy start to winter, we’ve been working hard to ensure that the people affected receive the same high standard of service when it comes to sorting out their claims and providing all the practical assistance we can. You can rest assured we’ll be here to do the same whenever the next storm comes along (not too soon we hope)… whatever its name may be.

 

Sources:
1http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35023558, 7 December 2015.
2As quoted in East Anglian Daily Times (Essex) (Main), 8 December 2015.
 
3As quoted in The Daily Mirror (Main), 9 December 2015.

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