The trail of destruction wreaked by yesterday's storm has left thousands across the south of England with damage to their properties and vehicles.
Around a quarter of a million homes lost power, while commuters struggled to get into work as transport networks were affected by falling trees and cable damage.
But what’s the first port of call if you have experienced damage as a result of the storm?
Contact Your Insurer
It’s advisable to get in touch with your relevant insurers as soon as possible, rather than waiting to assess the full extent of any damage. It will be useful if you are able to refer to your insurance documents at the time.
It is also good practice to consult your insurer before hiring contractors to carry out repairs on your home or vehicle as they may have additional advice relating to your policy.
Insurers can also help if you need to be relocated to alternative accommodation while repairs are carried out.
If you are able to disconnect your power supplies at the mains without endangering yourself, do so as soon as possible.
The flooding could be sustained by further heavy rainfall, so keep emergency supplies and valuables upstairs.
The council can provide basic flood protection, such as sandbags, to help to reduce the risk of further damage.
Home insurance, business insurance, and most comprehensive vehicle insurance policies should cover damage inflicted by flooding.
If you have incurred structural damage, your buildings insurance will usually cover the cost before claiming this back from the proprietor of the source (if applicable). If a tree has fallen from a neighbour's garden, for example, your insurer is likely to retrieve the cost from your neighbour's insurer.
Structural damage to vehicles as a result of storms will only be covered through comprehensive policies rather than more limited third-party policies.
Providing evidence of the damage is useful when making a claim to your insurer.
Where possible, gather pictures and/or recordings as early as possible to demonstrate the damage at its worst. This is especially useful if your claim is likely to be a substantial one.
And if contractors or alternative accommodation are required as a result of storm damage, remember to demand and retain receipts. This will make it much easier for insurers to cover the costs involved.
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