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Insurers Count Cost of UK Downpour

29 November 2012

UK - Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual is dealing with more than 500 claims from policyholders whose homes and businesses in the South West, Wales and the Midlands have been damaged by floods.

“We have already received hundreds of weather-related claims from across the UK and expect more to come in over the next few days,” said chief claims manager, Matthew Scott.

“Although it’s too early to put an accurate figure on the cost of claims, we could be looking at a total bill of up to £20 million for NFU Mutual alone.”

The insurer put its emergency disaster plan into action on Friday, when the scale of flooding became apparent. This enabled claims staff, loss adjusters and flood damage restoration companies to target the worst-affected areas.

“The time we take to really get to know our customers through our 300 local branch offices really helps at times like this,” Matthew said.

“We’ve been able to see some of the worst-affected people very quickly and have provided 62 badly-affected policyholders with immediate emergency payments of £500.

“In addition to flooded farms, many rural businesses, such as hotels, shops, offices and workshops have also suffered extensive damage and we are working with policyholders to dry out buildings and help them get up and running again.”

Claims received so far include homes flooded to a depth of over four feet - which can cost tens of thousands of pounds to dry out and repair. Vehicles have also been hard hit, with claims for flooded cars, tractors and harvesting machinery reported.

Commercial claims for flood damage to farm buildings, stored crops and farm equipment are also being dealt with.

Protect your home - tips from the Mutual

Before a flood

  • Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies at the mains.
  • Unplug all electrical items and store upstairs or as high up as possible, along with sentimental items
  • Cover doors, windows and airbricks with plywood, sandbags or metal sheeting. Contact your local council for sandbags.
  • Move furniture away from walls and, where possible, move upstairs along with rolled up carpets and rugs.
  • Remove curtains or hang them up over the rail so they are kept above flood water.
  • Leave internal doors open.
  • Keep important personal documents in a sealed bag in a safe location.
  • Make sure you have important personal documents such as insurance and bank details, as well as essential contacts in the local authority and your doctor.
  • Move your car to higher ground

During a flood

  • Remember that personal safety is your prime concern. Don’t go into rooms with standing water if the power is still on, and don’t use electrical appliances affected by, or in contact with, moisture.

After a flood

  • Do not drink tap water until the all clear is given.
  • Your electrical system needs to be checked and safety confirmed before turning back on.
  • If you suspect the flood water to be contaminated (by sewage, for example) discard the affected items immediately.
  • Take photographs of damaged items as this will help with the claim.
  • For further information on flood precautions visit www.nfumutual.

TheCropSite News Desk

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