What if I'm a victim of storm or flood damage?
Be assured that you're covered as standard for damage caused to your home as a result of storm or flood damage as a Barclays Home Insurance customer, including any direct damage caused by wind or rain.
If you're affected by storm or flood damage, you'll want to get back to normal as soon as possible. The tips below should help.
What to do before the storm
Any homeowner worried about potential damage could help to minimise the impact of a storm by taking a few basic steps to protect their property.
- Park your car in a garage, or away from large trees
- Secure or lock away loose objects such as garden furniture and ornaments, bikes, children’s toys and ladders
- Fasten all doors and windows
- With electrical storms, remove the aerial from the TV set
- Check for loose tiles on the roof
- Secure any weak fences and posts to minimise the risk of causing damage to other parts of your property
- Check that aerials or satellite dishes are securely fixed
What to do after the storm
Check it’s safe to go back home
Water may have caused structural flood damage that makes your property dangerous. It may hide all kinds of other risks, such as debris and raised manhole covers. The water may also be polluted.
Contact us straightaway
If you have a Barclays Home Insurance policy, call us on 0800 027 9844 1. We’ll usually send an insurance assessor to look at your home and work out what repairs and replacements are needed and covered by your policy. We’ll do this as quickly as we can but if a lot of homes have suffered storm or flood damage there may be a delay.
- Flood water can contain sewage, harmful chemicals and animal waste. Protect yourself by wearing waterproof gloves and outerwear, wellington boots and a face mask.
- If your electricity supply isn’t already switched off at the mains, get a professional electrician or other qualified person to do this. Above all, don’t touch sources of electricity when you’re standing in flood water.
- Clean and disinfect your home and possessions using ordinary household products.
- Wash down walls and contents with an ordinary garden hose. Don’t use a high-pressure hose as it can spread contaminated matter.
- If you are drying your property naturally, keep the doors and windows open as much as possible. If you are using dehumidifiers, close external doors and windows.
- If you have gas or oil central heating and it has been checked by an engineer, turn it on. Keep the thermostat between 20-22 degrees Celsius.
- Wait until the insurance assessor confirms that the property has fully dried out before you redecorate.
- We can arrange for approved tradesmen to organise and carry out repairs. We offer a minimum 12-month guarantee on repairs and replacements arranged by us. In any case, always use reputable building contractors and be particularly wary of people calling door-to-door. Check references and do not pay in advance.
- Your local council will usually provide skips and extra rubbish collections for items that we have agreed you can throw away.
Making an insurance claim
Document the damage
- Use a permanent ink pen to mark on the wall the maximum height of the flood water. Do this in every room affected by flooding.
- Take photographs or video footage of your damaged property.
- Make a list of the damage to your property and belongings.
- If your insurance policy covers you for loss of perishable goods, make a list of all the food you have to throw away. Include any food touched by flood water and anything in your fridge or freezer ruined by loss of power.
- Keep receipts for any temporary repairs you organise.
- Don’t throw anything away (except ruined food) until the insurance assessor confirms you can.
- Call us to check if your policy covers the cost of alternative accommodation (up to a specified limit) if you have to move out of you home while it is being repaired.
The most common types of storm claims
- Roof tiles blown off, often in conjunction with damage to gutters, fascias, etc
- Damaged TV/radio aerials
- Breakage of glass – most often greenhouse glass
- Lifting of roofing felt, particularly on sheds
- Damage to chimneys
- Trees falling down and damaging buildings
- Boundary walls blown down
Remember that an insurance policy is not a maintenance policy – most companies expect your home to be in reasonable condition, so wear and tear isn't covered. Fences, gates and hedges that have blown down as a direct result of high winds are also generally excluded.