Make early insurance claims, flood victims urged

VICTIMS of the past week's floods are being told by insurance companies to get their insurance claims in now to ensure they are dealt with quickly. Early claimants can get their goods replaced sooner and ensure the fabric of the building suffers less damage.

If immediate work is needed, companies advise getting the work done rather than worry about obtaining approval first.

However, insurers accepted that it might not always be possible to carry out instant repairs. Commercial Union, one of the largest companies, said: "Many things can be replaced almost immediately, but the fabric of the house may need several months to dry out before repairs."

o Most insurers have their own helpline to guide policyholders through such a crisis. Keep the number handy.

o Keep all receipts for repair work, rented accommodation and the like.

o Electrical wiring and gas pipes touched by water should be looked at by an expert.

For further flooding, damage limitation was the advice: o Move as much furniture as possible above water level.

o Move cars and caravans to higher ground.

o Do not lift fitted carpets to dry them, as they may shrink.

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