Wet summers seem to be becoming the norm in Britain and we’re seeing flooding occurring more and more frequently. Home owners and local authorities alike will all be taking steps to prepare for flooding.
According to figures from the Association of British Insurers, approximately one in six homes in England are at risk of flooding right now, while almost half a million people are apparently facing a significant flood risk.
This growing problem is putting pressure on both households and insurance providers. The more frequently flooding occurs, the more often people will be forced to make insurance claims. This in turn racks up higher bills for cover providers, who may eventually be forced to pass on some of these greater costs to customers who are viewed as a relatively high risk.
People in flood-prone locations might therefore end up having to pay more if they want to insure their home, even if they have taken steps to prepare for flooding.
As a result, it certainly pays for households to make sure they are prepared at all times, taking precautions to mitigate the impact of any floods that may occur. This not only helps you cut the size of any insurance claim you may make, it also reduces the trauma of dealing with the aftermath of the floods.
So what practical steps can you take to prepare for flooding?
Making a building completely flood-proof is not possible, while a house’s vulnerability will depend partly on whether the flood defences in their city, town or village are fit for purpose.
But there are plenty of positive measures you can take to minimise any damage. The Environment Agency has a lengthy list of recommendations, which include raising door thresholds, fitting water-resistant skirting boards and using water-resistant materials such as plastic and stainless steel throughout rooms including the kitchen as much as you can.
You might also want to choose your flooring with the possibility of flooding in mind. Fitted carpets are unlikely to be salvageable if the worst comes to pass, whereas a tiled floor should survive and can be adorned day-to-day with some replaceable and inexpensive rugs.
Another way to reduce the size of any insurance claim is to carefully consider where expensive items should be stored. Placing valuable items on high-mounted shelves is certainly a good idea, while gadgets such as stereos and TVs should also be positioned well above floor level. This is an inexpensive way of reducing the chances of costly possessions being damaged, which in turn means you don’t have to claim as much money from your insurer if a flood occurs.
Make sure you’ve got appropriate cover
If you’re relying on your insurance policy in the event of flooding, make sure beforehand that you’ve got an appropriate level of cover in place. A standard home insurance policy may not provide enough protection, so it’s certainly worth going to a specialist provider like GSI Insurance Southern Services. We can provide all the support you need, so you can have expert help without an unrealistic price tag attached.
Check weather forecasts
A basic, but effective, way to make sure you are ready. Keep an eye on weather bulletins on the TV, radio and the internet, so you know when heavy rain is on the way. Then you can take emergency precautions like putting out sandbags and see if the steps you have already taken make a difference in protecting your home. This can hopefully save you lots of money in the long run and – perhaps more importantly – a great deal of emotional distress and heartache.