Households affected by Storm Babet urged to tell insurers as soon as possible

Flooding in Midleton, Co Cork, caused by Storm Babet (Damien Rytel/PA)
Flooding in Midleton, Co Cork, caused by Storm Babet (Damien Rytel/PA)

Households and businesses affected by Storm Babet are being urged to contact their insurer for help and advice.

Insurers’ first priority when helping customers affected by Storm Babet will be to make sure they recover as quickly as possible, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The storm was expected to bring over one month’s worth of rain in the worst affected regions of the UK on Thursday.

Storm Babet hit Ireland on Wednesday after sweeping in from the Atlantic, with swathes of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England seeing strong winds and heavy rain on Thursday.

ABI spokesman Malcolm Tarling said: “Insurers expect bad weather to strike at any time, and their first priority when it does is to help homeowners and businesses recover as soon as possible.

“Your insurer can make any emergency payments needed, arrange any temporary emergency accommodation, and organise necessary repairs. If you suffer damage to your property, contact your insurer as soon as you can for help and advice.”

Insurer Aviva said that during flooding, people should avoid moving through floodwater, which can be fast flowing and contaminated with sewage.

It also cautioned households against trying to repair damage while the flood or storm is still in progress.

Here is some general insurance advice from the ABI for those affected by flooding:

1. Contact your insurer as soon as possible. Most will have 24-hour emergency helplines to ensure you get advice on what to do and arrange repairs as quickly as is possible.

2. If necessary, arrange temporary emergency repairs to stop any damage getting worse, but speak to your insurer first.

A cloudy sky
Clouds gathering in Porthcawl in south Wales (Ben Birchall/PA)

3. If you have to arrange emergency repairs yourself, tell your insurer and keep any receipts, as this will form part of your claim.

4. Do not be in a rush to throw away damaged items, unless they are a danger to health, as these may be able to be repaired or restored. Your insurer will advise.

5. If your home is uninhabitable while repairs are being carried out, your insurer will arrange for, and pay the cost of, any alternative temporary accommodation you may need.

6. Commercial polices will cover damage to premises and stock. Business interruption cover (which may be included or purchased separately) will cover additional trading costs, such as hiring temporary alternative trading premises if necessary.

7. Comprehensive motor insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by flooding. But do follow any travel advice, and if necessary, only travel if you really need to.