If your home is in an area prone to flooding, plan ahead and be prepared.
If you've been affected by flood and are one of our customers who needs to make a claim, please call our claims centre on 0370 900 5565. We may record and monitor calls. Call charges will vary.
For help and advice during a flood, call the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0345 988 1188, tune into a local radio station or check the Met Office and Environment Agency's websites, which carry comprehensive flood information. If the authorities advise you to evacuate, follow any instructions they give, leaving your home as secure as possible.
If your home hasn't been affected by flood but may be at risk, try to plan ahead and be prepared. Flooding can be devastating, but by following a few of our top tips, this could help prevent flood damage in your home and avoid costly repairs:
- Keep a stock of filled sandbags handy to help seal your doors.
- Make sure that all valuables and copies of important documents (ie insurance documents, bank details, and house deeds) are stored safely, preferably in a waterproof container and kept on an upper floor.
- Help protect vulnerable doors, windows, vents and air bricks with temporary flood protection equipment, such as removable covers.
- Flood damage could harm your computer's hard drive; make sure you've backed up your computer, including all files and photos.
- Listen out for flood warnings on the local radio and check the Met Office regularly.
- Turn off water, electricity and gas at the mains.
- Move as many items (furniture, carpets, important documents and family heirlooms) if you can upstairs.
- Lift your curtains and secure them over the rails, away from the floor.
- Move your car to higher ground.
You can prepare a home emergency kit, which could help in the event of a flood, include things such as:
- A first aid kit
- A torch
- Spare batteries
- A portable radio
- Bottled water and canned food
- Portable cooking equipment and utensils
- Waterproof clothing, blankets and rubber boots
- A change of clothes
- A list of local emergency numbers, such as the council and your insurance details
- Required medication
Remember if there’s an imminent risk of a flood, evacuate the property and put your own safety first.
It’s important to contact your insurer before carrying out any work in your home, as you’ll need to know what can be paid for under your policy. Insurers tend to pay for restoring your home to a similar state to before the flood, so you may need to contribute towards any work beyond like-for-like improvements.
Improving your home to better deal with floods is usually cheaper than fixing damage after a flood, possible alterations to consider could be:
- If you have wooden floorboards downstairs replace them with concrete and lay tiles instead of carpet
- To avoid water and sewage flowing back into the house, install one-way valves to drainage pipes
- Installing free-standing stainless steel, plastic or solid wood kitchens instead of chipboard ones, which can be moved around
- Move sockets further up the walls so they’re more likely to sit above the water level
- Use a water-resistant material like lime plaster or cement render to re-plaster internal walls
- Install water-resistant doors and window frames
- Install flood barriers and skirt windows, doors and airbricks
- Raise heating or ventilation systems above the ground floor
Always be cautious when undertaking any task that you're not fully familiar with as you could injure yourself or those around you, seek professional help where required.
If you’re taking steps to protect your home, then you might also be interested in our Home Insurance, which can give you peace of mind when you need it the most.
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We may not be able to provide cover in certain circumstances to new customers who have experienced a previous loss or claim.