Flood damage: How to make a successful insurance claim after weather chaos

If your home or car has been damaged by bad weather or flooding then follow these steps to make a successful insurance claim. We also have details on financial support being offered by banks.

Homes across the country are about to be battered by more devastating weather.

The Met Office has issued a red weather warning for 'exceptionally strong winds' of up to 100mph.

Earlier this week the Prime Minister warned that 'things may get worse before they get better', with hundreds of flood warnings and alerts still in force.

If your home or car has been damaged by the bad weather then follow these steps to ensure you make a successful insurance claim.  


Find out if the area you live in is at risk of flooding by checking the Environment Agency's live flood warning map. It's updated every 15 minutes.

Stay safe

Before you do anything make sure that your property or possessions are secure.

If your home has been flooded do not use electrical equipment or the gas supply until it has been checked by a qualified tradesman.

Use a plastic sheet or tarpaulin to temporarily repair storm-damaged roofs.

Call your insurance company

If your home has been damaged, structurally or aesthetically, then this will be covered under your buildings insurance. Damage to your possessions will be covered by your contents policy.

If your car has been damaged, perhaps by a falling tree, then you'll need to contact your car insurance company.

Find the helpline for your insurance provider and call to log your claim - have your policy number ready, if possible.

Be prepared to give a report of how much damage has been done and what repairs will be required. Do not commission anyone to fix the damage until you've had confirmation from your insurer.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Take photos or video footage of the damage so you can use this as evidence with your insurer. A handheld camera or even a smartphone picture will do.

Don't throw away any damaged items either - you might need them as evidence. Move undamaged items to a safe place.

Arrange an inspection

Insurers are bound to be inundated with claims after the storm. If they want to send round a representative to assess the claim then try and arrange this as soon as possible.

Can't stay in your home?

If you were unlucky to get severe damage to your home then you may need to find alternative accommodation. This cost will usually be covered under your insurance policy, if flooding has occurred.

Talk to your insurer - most companies will have arrangements in place with hotels and can secure special discounts or have terms under which you must book them.

Mortgage relief

Some banks have now said that they will help their customers affected by the storms. Details below: 

  • Santander has said it will give free overdraft extensions and mortgage payment holidays to customers who are affected by the flooding.

  • RBS - which owns NatWest - has said customers in flood areas will be able to apply for a three month mortgage holiday.

  • Lloyds has set up a £250million fun to provide fee-free lending across the retail and business areas.

  • Nationwide said it would help families with temporary overdrafts and would assess people with alternative security checks if their documents were damaged by the floods.

  • HSBC is expected to announce a fast-track for credit applications as well as overdraft and loan extensions.

What happens if your roof tile comes off and causes damage to someone else's property?

Most buildings insurance policies contain liability cover - you should contact your insurance company for advice.

Has your home been affected by the storm? Tell us in the comment section below.

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