Following the wettest winter on record last year, the Association of British insurers estimated that insurers paid out over £446 million to customers whose homes, businesses, and vehicles were flooded.
Flood damage can be costly, which is why it’s wise to do what you can to protect your home from flooding, especially if you live in an area that’s prone to regular flooding.
We have lots of tips to help you protect your home, and advice as to what to do if you become the victim of a flood.
Do you live in a flood risk area?
You can find out if you live in an area that’s prone to flooding by entering your postcode into this map checker created by the Environment Agency. It shows areas that are at low to high risk of flooding from both rivers and seas
Keep an eye on weather forecasts, as they can give you forewarning of any heavy downpours. Local weather forecasts will also let you know if any flood or weather warnings have been issued in your area.
Find out more
If a weather warning has been issued, or you’d like to find out more information in the event of a flood, you can check the Environment Agency website, or give them a call on 0845 988 1188. If you live in Scotland, you can get in touch with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency online or by calling their dedicated Floodline on: 0345 988 1188.
Minimising flood impact
Ahead of a flood, there are flood resistance and flood resilience measures that you can take to ensure your home is as watertight as possible.
Flood resistance measures:
Flood water can enter your home in a range of ways - via doors and patios, gaps in flooring, air ventilation brocks, drains and pipes, and by backed-up water from sinks, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers.
These measures are designed to prevent water entering your home via these ways:
- Using clever landscaping, you can design your garden in a way that diverts water away from your home
- Using sandbags and plastic sheeting to shore up gaps and plug drains. This can help in the short term and can prevent silt and mud from entering the property. However, they aren’t as effective as purpose-made flood products can be.
- Fitting ‘non-return’ valves to drainpipes and other pipes that could back-up during a flood
- Fitting covers on ventilation bricks
- Specially made guards are available that are designed to stop water from getting in through gaps in doors. These can be fitted quickly if there is flooding on the way.
- Raising damp-proof courses and sealing floors
Flood resilience measures:
These are designed to minimise the impact of flooding should water enter your home.
- Keep windows, doors and fences in good repair
- Keep valuable items on high-mounted shelves
- Avoid using chipboard in kitchens and bathrooms - instead look to water-resistant materials like plastic, stainless steel, or solid wood
- Raise fuse boxes, wiring, electrical sockets, and TV & entertainment device wall fixtures to at least 1.5m above floor level
- Decorate with rugs rather than fitted carpets
In the event of flooding
- Move items of furniture and items of financial or sentimental value above ground level where possible
- Get your essentials together - look out a torch, first aid kit, your home insurance details, passports, a camera, receipts for valuables and a waterproof bag in which to keep these safe
- Make sure everyone knows where your mains power, gas and water stopcock are located so that these can be switched off when necessary
- Make sure your mobile devices are fully charged
- Check on neighbours and friends and follow all instructions given to you by the authorities should you be instructed to leave your home
† 10% of customers buying Home Insurance online with us between 1st June 2015 and 31st August 2015 received a price that was at least 20% cheaper than the price they would have been offered had they called us. Discounts depend upon individual circumstances, level of cover & payment method. (Excludes optional extras). * Contents Cover only