Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Flooding in UK hits consumers

Mark King in the Guardian (UK): Major flooding across several towns and villages in Cornwall last night led to people being trapped in their cars and homes and left areas of St Austell and St Blazey impassable. While it is too early to estimate the cost to homeowners, the average cost of a household insurance claim for storm damage is £660, according to M&S Money. Met Office figures show the wettest month in the UK is December, with an average of 124.88mm of rainfall, while the windiest month is January with an average wind speed of 11.8 knots, so the worst could be yet to come.

Austyn Tusler of insurer Hiscox says ideally, consumers would, "understand the risk beforehand and prepare accordingly to minimise damage". But if the worst happens regardless, the uninsured will face a hefty bill, while those with cover need to know what to do to minimise the damage to their property and ensure their insurance claim goes without any hiccups.

Julie Owens, head of home insurance at, says your insurer will expect you to make attempts to minimise your claim. It depends on the insurer how they define "attempts to minimise your claim" but Owens said you will be expected to ring your insurer immediately to inform it of the situation and to obtain advice and assistance.

Insurers should have loss adjusters on the ground and most will be able to offer temporary accommodation if a home becomes uninhabitable (depending on the cover you have), as well as direct suitable contractors to assist with cataloguing the damage and with the clean-up….

St. Mawes in Cornwall, shot by Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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