The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings across Britain. With half of January’s rainfall predicted to fall in the next few days, Wales, the South West, The Midlands and the North East have all been placed on Red Alert.
It was only in November 2010 that heavy rain caused flooding in Cornwall with more than 230 homes and 400 businesses affected.
It is now time for many to check that not only their homes are watertight but also their insurance policies. Worrying research by housing charity Shelter showed that 42 per cent of home owners could not afford home insurance whilst 22 per cent said they did not think it was important. With the costs to repair a property damaged by a flood reaching into the thousands, it is essential that homeowners are adequately covered.
Unfortunately, those who think they are covered could be in for a shock in the event of making a claim. It is estimated that on average homeowners are under-insured to the tune of £4,650. This means that many could be hung out to dry in the event of a flash flood. Julie Owens from price comparison site Money Supermarket said “At a time when people are feeling the pinch, it is easy to assume a standard home insurance policy will be enough for you - however this could be a mistake. Many standard policies will provide a basic level of cover, which in many cases might not safeguard your home and possessions to the necessary extent."
Take Action Now
If you live in an area that is currently at risk from floods then take action now to protect your possessions and yourself.
- Protect your valuables – Move all expensive items and documents upstairs out of harms way. If possible, try to move any furniture upstairs as well.
- Soft Furnishings – If flooding looks likely then all rugs should be moved upstairs and curtains should be looped over the rails to protect them.
- Priceless Items – Those items of great sentimental value should be placed in a water-proof bag and kept out of harms way. No amount of money from an insurance company can replace items such as your son or daughters first birthday photos.
- Stay Informed – Constantly check the weather and news reports and visit the Met Office website for up-to-date information on your local area.
- Emergency Flood Kit – This should include any ID, required medication, money and a change of clothing. If you need to evacuate your home, you may only have minutes to do so.
- Sandbags – Make sure you have a healthy supply of sandbags to minimise the amount of water that can enter your home.
- Home Insurance – Keep your home insurance policy close to hand. This will have both the emergency contact telephone number and your policy number on.