The Met Office has issued a number of flood warnings for areas of the UK this week, meaning flooding is expected. A total of 77 areas have been on flood alert in the past few days. Thankfully, as of 2 November, that figure has come down to 22, but the unpredictable autumn weather means things could still worsen as the week progresses.
Strong winds and floods can cause costly property damage, but there are various precautions you can take. If you live in an area affected by flooding, consider these four insurance and safety tips to get you safely through the bad weather.
1. Review your insurance policies
When particularly bad weather is forecast for your area, it’s a good idea to check that your home and car insurance policies offer the cover you require.
There are two categories of home insurance:
- Buildings insurance that covers you against structural damage caused by elements such as fires, floods and earthquakes.
- Contents insurance that covers you against loss, theft or damage to your personal or home possessions.
It’s likely that you have both policies, or one policy that covers both areas. Confirm whether damage from flooding is covered. If not, you might have to pay extra for additional coverage. That’s why it’s always important to compare different home insurance companies to get the best and most competitive cover.
It makes sense to take out comprehensive cover over third-party car insurance. The policy you choose should cover you against flood damage, but talk to your insurer to find out precisely what the policy covers.
And just like home insurance policies, it’s prudent to compare different car insurance options to find the deal that’s right for you.
2. Take care when driving through floodwater
Driving through floodwater can be dangerous at the best of times. The effect of floodwater can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to drive slowly. Travelling too fast through water is dangerous and inconsiderate – and it can be very costly.
When driving through standing water, your tyres can lose contact with the road. This can lead to a loss of steering control that can result in serious accidents.
If you can’t avoid driving through flooded areas, ensure you know how to drive safely through water. Key things to remember include:
- Avoiding fast-moving water altogether
- Trying to avoid standing water whenever possible
- Driving slowly, using first or second gear to maintain a speed of about 5mph and avoid making a bow wave
- Testing your brakes after driving through water
- Avoiding water that has a depth of more than a third of the average wheel height (around 10cm)
3. Sign up for weather warning alerts
You can access Met Office weather warnings through the Met Office app and website, social media, email alerts and RSS. Additionally, you can sign up for flood warnings through the gov.uk website if you live in an area that’s regularly at risk of flooding.
4. Protect your property
The gov.uk website also recommends protecting your property from flood damage – after all, prevention is better than cure. The National Flood Forum’s property protection guides for property owners or local authorities and professionals can be a good source of tips.