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 How to minimise your risks if your home is on a flood plain

If you live on a flood plain, then the risk of flooding is obviously a major concern. There are though, a number of things that can be done to reduce the risk, and subsequently help you get a reasonable level of home insurance cover. Putting in preventative measures can make a big difference to your premium, and more importantly, how your home may survive in the event of flooding.

Flood Risk Survey

Getting a mitigation survey carried out, will not only help you to decide what action you can take to protect your property from flood damage, but it may help to reduce your insurance premiums. The survey can also confirm, that any action you have taken to prevent flooding, has been professionally and correctly installed, again helping with the cost of insurance premiums.

Preventative Measures

You can buy air brick covers and install door and window guards. Free standing flood barriers may be erected if a warning has been issued. Any flood defence products that you install, that have the British Kitemark, are likely to be better received by your insurance provider. Plywood sheets can be used to cover windows and doors. Sandbags can be used along the doors sills, or anywhere you think the water may gain access to your property.

Make sure you are familiar with the flood warning system that is in place in your local area, when and how any warnings are issued, and how you can easy gain access to them. The Environment Agency website and telephone line will provide you with flood warnings and always has up to date information. The Environment Agency may also provide helpful advice with the preventative measures you can take, to reduce the risk of flooding.

Unplug all of your electrical goods, and move them, along with anything else you consider precious, and that includes the mother-in-law, upstairs, or as high as possible if you live in a bungalow or in a ground floor flat. Any large electrical items that you can’t move, such as the oven or fridge, you can stand on bricks if you are able to access them. Don’t forget to turn off the central heating. Keep all your important documents, passports, insurance papers etc, in a safe, dry place, high up and in plastic bags if need be.

It is sensible to make sure your guttering is cleaned out regularly, to ensure that it doesn’t become blocked, and that the rainwater can run away easily. If you can, once a warning has been issued, move your car somewhere safer.

What to do After Being Flooded

Clean up and remove any debris where it is safe to do so, saving any valuable items for inspection by your insurance company. Try to ventilate the property as much as possible to help it to dry out. Portable dehumidifiers can be a great help.

Notify your insurance company as soon as you can, as this will get your claim progressing as soon as possible.

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