Have you suffered a disaster in your home? Flooding is becoming more and more of a problem here in the UK, which means there’s a growing number of people wondering what will happen while their home is undergoing repair work, and what steps of the process they need to be involved in.
This article explains what will happen while your home is being repaired, and some of the steps you can take to make it run smoothly.
First, if your property has been damaged or destroyed by a flood, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with loss, and intimidated by the process that lies ahead. However, try to remain calm and take practical steps towards resolving the situation. Start by contacting your home insurance provider if your home is insured. This is often the most effective way to get your home ‘back’, as your insurer will pay for things that need fixing or replacing provided you have paid for it in your policy.
Then, the next thing you’ll need to do is look at the terms of your insurance policy. What’s covered will vary from insurer to insurer, so the level of coverage you have (and therefore the amount of help you’re going to receive) entirely depends on what you’ve paid for. Many home owners feel they have peace of mind from the RAC and other large insurance companies due to the fact that major providers offer lots of ‘add-ons’ to their policies. And, large insurers are often familiar with the steps that need to be taken while someone’s home is being repaired, too. If you don’t have insurance and your home has been flooded, speak to the National Flood Forum.
After you’ve read over your insurance policy, get on the phone to your insurer to confirm what you think is covered, just to ensure you’re not about to pay for anything you don’t need to. For instance, some of the major insurance companies pay for your temporary accommodation while you’re not able to live in your home.
According to this guidance document, it can take several months to repair a property that’s been damaged by flooding due to the fact that it takes many weeks to dry out a property before work can begin. It really does pay to see if your insurer will foot the bill for your temporary accommodation… you could be there a while! If, for any reason, your insurer is a bit slow about getting your home repaired (and you can prove that the delay is your insurer’s fault), they may also pay out for added inconvenience, such as the additional cost of your fuel to and from work/school while living in temporary accommodation.
Next, while you’re living in temporary accommodation, you’ll need to be coordinating builders and workmen from afar. If you have a builder you trust, you should speak to your insurer as they may be happy for you to use your own builder, provided the quote is reasonable. If you don’t have a builder you can trust, your insurer may be able to recommend one they want you to work with, or will simply ask that you do the research and provide some quotations before your insurer is willing to pay for the work to be done.
Also, the terms of your insurance might refer to a ‘new for old’ policy so far as your belongings are concerned. This means that your insurance company will pay out enough to replace all of your damaged items with equivalent items, so you’re going to need to provide your insurer of a detailed list of all the things that have been damaged. Do this as thoroughly and as carefully as you can; if you can provide photographs, so much the better.
Finally, expect it to take time to repair your home. It can easily take six months for extensive repairs to be carried out, so try to be patient, and think about ways you can make your life easier while you’re living somewhere else. Perhaps you might be able to negotiate an arrangement where you work from your temporary accommodation instead of driving extra miles to the office, for example.