Recent storms Eunice and Franklin hit the UK hard this February, causing plenty of destruction. So, what do you need to do, following a storm, if damage has been caused to your business or property?
1. The clear up operation
Report your claim as soon as possible. Contact us with your policy documents to hand, so we can bring your details up quickly, and provide us with the best number to call you on so we can keep you updated at all times. Depending on the severity of the damage, we’ll be able to advise you on the best course of action.
To prevent further damage, you might want to carry out small repairs yourself, but proceed with caution and don’t put yourself at risk.
If your property is flooded, do not use gas or electricity unless you know it is guaranteed safe to do so by a qualified professional. Move what you can to upper floors (if you can do so safely) and remove covers on air bricks where necessary to allow air flow and drying-out, and for any trapped water to escape.
Gather any receipts or invoices of damaged belongings or parts of your property. Don’t call upon your local or usual tradespeople unless we or your insurer advise you to do so.
2. Making a claim
Make a list of all damaged items and areas and take photos of the damage where you can, but only if safety permits. Steer clear of precarious-looking roofs or damaged walls, and anything that looks in danger of falling. Retrieve or salvage belongings – again, only if it doesn’t put you at risk. Your insurer will need as much information as possible, but we can guide you through the process.
Your insurer may be dealing with a lot of claims, if a storm has been widespread, so we may advise you to get a quote from your local tradesperson for repairs to the damage, speeding up the claims process, but do not go ahead and book any work until you have your insurer’s approval.
If you can’t get a repair quote, or your property is dangerously unsafe, we can advise you on what to do.
3. What exactly can you claim for?
Give us as much information as possible and we can help you make your claim. Typical damage following a storm may include:
Water damage to your property – inside or out.
Damage to a roof, like missing or loose slates or tiles, felt roofs lifted off and ridge or hip tiles dislodged or missing.
Damage as the result of fallen trees or branches, or any items that may have come loose in the storm and caused damage.
There are some things your policy won’t cover, like damage to fences, gates and hedges, but we can help you check the small print of your policy wording.
Your policy is unlikely to cover longstanding damage or those caused by maintenance neglect, for example:
Brickwork and chimneys – cement or mortar disintegration.
Failed exterior render.
Historical roof deterioration.
Flat roofs that are aged or shabby.
4. Finding a reputable tradesperson
As we mentioned above, if your insurer is inundated with claims, they may ask you to obtain a quotefrom a local tradesperson for repairs, speeding up your claims process.
Any quote you receive must detail a full breakdown of what repairs are involved, with hopefully (and if safe to take them) supporting photos of the damage. Make sure to include with your claim a list of items or belongings damaged, along with accompanying photos. Don’t throw anything away in case you can claim for it.
When choosing a suitable tradesperson do:
Be wary of cold-callers and opportunists, following a storm. Avoid ‘independent flood or loss assessors’ as they may be part of a scam, or at best, charge you a fee that will come out of your claim settlement.
Look for recommended or established traders. For example, roofers should have roofing accreditations like Marley, Redland or the National Federation of Roofers (NFRC).
Avoid paying for any work upfront.
Make sure the tradesperson offers guarantees/warranties.
Get more than one quote for comparison.
Once you obtain a quote you are happy with, email it to us and we will get started on your claim immediately.
Storms are thankfully infrequent in the UK, but should they come to wreak havoc and cause damage, you can rely on us to help you get back to normal as quickly as possible.