Insurance for Buildings

publication date: Jul 2, 2012
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Property & Home Insurance


There is nothing more disheartening than having your home invaded by dirty smelly water, whether it's a river that's burst its banks or just the sheer volume of rainwater having nowhere else to go.

So what should you do if you're faced with such a problem and how can your insurance company help?

While those affected may find themselves still in the early stages of flooding or flood risk, the following information may be of use now and in the future:-

Direct Line has the following advice for householders if flooding occurs:-

  • Direct Line customers: If your property is damaged, please contact our 24 hour emergency helpline on 0845 601 3004 as soon as possible
  • If you need to move to alternative accommodation, the cost is normally covered under your insurance policy, but please check this when speaking to the claims team
  • When possible, take photographs of the damage to your building and contents or film the footage; they may help with the settlement of your claim
  • Don't throw away possessions without first discussing it with your claims adviser, as they will need to be assessed
  • Do not use electrical equipment or the gas supply until it has been checked by a qualified tradesman Wash taps and run them for a few minutes before use
  • Do not rush to redecorate your home as it can take weeks for a flood-damaged property to fully dry out
  • Do not lift wet carpets unless absolutely necessary as they may shrink


Direct Line has the following advice for householders at risk of flooding:-

  • Ensure any drains and gutters are clear of debris so rainfall can drain from your property effectively
  • Place valuable and electrical items in high cupboards to reduce the impact of any flood damage
  • Ensure outdoor furniture and other items likely to float away are safely restrained to reduce the risk of these items causing secondary damage
  • Establish an evacuation plan for your family. This will reduce the risk of injury to your loved ones and give you more time to save items of sentimental and material value
  • While it is safe to use electrical equipment, keep up to date with the latest weather and flood warnings by monitoring local television and radio services
  • If your property has flooded, switch off your mains power supply to reduce the risk of electrocution and fire caused by floodwater
  • Store important documents, including insurance policy details and useful contact numbers in a watertight bag in a dry accessible place, preferably upstairs
  • Make up a flood emergency kit and keep it in a safe place. Include key personal documents, a torch and portable radio with spare batteries, warm clothing, blankets, rubber boots and gloves, cleaning equipment, disinfectant and detergent, heavy duty refuse bags, a first aid kit and any essential medication
  • Make a list of useful numbers you may need - your insurer, your local council, the emergency services and the number of Floodline, tel: 0845 988 1188
  • Buy air brick covers or flood boards to block doorways


There are several million homes in the UK at risk from flooding and as a result whenever buying, selling or investing in property, it's important to double check what the risk of flooding is to your property. Two useful flood resource websites are Homecheck and the Environment Agency.

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