FLOODING: Here's how to prepare for a home insurance claim if you've been affected by flooding in Milton Keynes

With a number of homes across Milton Keynes being badly affected and damaged by flood water, here's what you should do to prepare for a home insurance claim.

Making a claim can be a time consuming and stressful process, especially at a time when you will already be stressed about damage to your home.

Citizens Advice give the following tips in the immediate aftermath of a flood in order to ensure the process goes smoothly:

  • Take photographs of any damage to the structure of the property and its contents
  • Prepare a detailed inventory of your home contents, if you haven’t done so already
  • Take a note of the reading on your electricity meter so that you can claim back the running costs of commercial dryers
  • Phone your insurer to start the claim as soon as possible, as often time limits will apply
  • Retain a copy of any documents or pictures you send to the insurer, or you receive from them
  • Ask for a record of any calls made in reference to the claim
  • If you are a vulnerable customer, for example because you are disabled or elderly, make the insurer aware of this. They may prioritise your claim
  • Ask from an indication of how long it will take to settle the claim

Different insurers have different ways of dealing with building work and repairs. For example, the insurer might:

  • tell you a maximum sum of money (the 'settlement') that they are willing to pay out for the claim and leave you to organise cleaning and repairs to this budget
  • ask you to get quotations from builders from which the insurer will decide who to award the contract to
  • assign a person known as a loss adjuster to organise the repairs and keep costs down for the insurer

Loss adjusters are employed by insurance companies to assess the damage and decide what will be paid for and how much will be paid. Usually they will try to reduce the cost of a claim.

You may have to negotiate with the loss adjuster to ensure that you receive a settlement amount that you are happy with. You should:

  • check the terms of your policy. For example, are you entitled to new for old? Ensure you receive what you are entitled to
  • look for your own quotations for replacing damaged items with the same quality and spec
  • consider employing a loss assessor to represent your interests. This will incur extra costs. You can find a loss assessor on the Institute of Public Loss Assessors website at www.lossassessors.org
  • negotiate with the loss adjuster about the installation of flood resilient fixtures and fittings. You could argue that this would reduce the loss should the home be flooded again in the future

You can read more tips and advice on the Citizen's Advice website. This article simply states existing advice from Citizen's Advice and does not constitute legal advice.