General Ins - Latest News - Insurers there for as long as it takes after Storm Desmond

Insurers are today setting out the six key stages in getting those affected by flooding back into their homes and businesses as soon as possible, as the important process of drying out and repairing properties gets under way.

 Insurers, claims handlers and loss adjusters who did not already have local teams in affected areas began arriving a week ago, before Storm Desmond took hold, in anticipation of severe flooding. Representatives will be there for many months to come to help the thousands of affected families and businesses get back on their feet. Fresh flooding in Cumbria overnight demonstrates some of the difficulties being faced on the ground.

 Repairing a property after a flood can be long and complex and the process can only begin once the building is fully dried out. While this work is happening insurers will be supporting customers with emergency payments and, where necessary, arranging temporary accommodation or trading premises for homeowners and businesses.

 These are the 6 key stages for people who’ve been affected:

 - Immediate aftermath: insurers and their teams are in affected areas proactively contacting customers wherever possible and helping people get their claims under way. If you need to move out of your home or business premises your insurer is there to help you find temporary accommodation.

 - Assessing the damage:If your property or contents has been badly damaged someone may be appointed by your insurer to make an initial assessment of the damage and to explain the repair process, as soon as it is safe to enter your property.

 - Cleaning and stripping out: your loss adjuster will organise the cleaning and stripping out of your home or business, once the waters have receded. This should start within 4 weeks of their first visit.

 - Disinfecting and drying out: a drying company will be appointed to disinfect and fully dry out the building. This process can take from a few weeks to several months depending on the extent of water damage.

 - Repair and reconstruction: a builder will be appointed to undertake repair and reconstruction work, or you can talk to your insurer about using a company of your choice, once a certificate is issued by the drying out company. Antibacterial and antifungal treatments will be included.

 - Moving back in: your insurer or loss adjuster will discuss with you when it is safe for you to return. In some cases this may be many months or more than a year later, particularly if major reconstruction works are required. Your insurer will help pay for alternative accommodation in the meantime.

 Mark Shepherd, General Insurance Manager at the ABI, said:

 “The suffering of families and businesses affected by flooding goes on long after the flood waters recede. Insurers and their teams of experts will be there alongside them, as the hard work of rebuilding gets under way.

 “Being flooded is traumatic and of course people want to get back into their properties and get their lives back to normal as soon as possible, especially with Christmas approaching. However repairing a flooded property can take time. The drying process is crucial to ensuring repairs can be completed successfully and properties will be safe to return to. Insurers are committed to beginning the decontamination, drying out and repair process as quickly as possible and ensuring all those involved work well together to meet the needs of affected customers.”

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