With two months’ rain forecast to fall in 36 hours, a leading insurance comparison website is warning policy holders to be aware what their insurance policies do and do not cover for their home and cars.
Storm Christoph will sweep England and Wales from Tuesday, bringing up to 20cm of rain in places. Large areas of already saturated land and melting snow will push up river levels and increase flood risks.
In response, The Environment Agency has issued more than 120 flood warnings across England and Wales.
Quotezone.co.uk says motorists with fully-comprehensive car insurance should be covered for any damage caused by debris during high winds and storms, but they may not be covered for water damage caused by driving through flooded roads.
The home and car insurance comparison website warns that some motoring insurance policies include clauses advising policyholders not to drive through flooded roads, and may specifically exclude from coverage any water damage to the car if the motorist goes against this advice.
Flood damage can also affect your home and if you have not declared previous flood damage, your policy could be invalid. If your house is located within 400 metres of a river, stream or coastline, you will need to have informed your insurance provider. Even if you’ve never experienced flooding yourself, your house could be classed as a ‘flood-risk property’.
Many insurance providers do take anti-flood doors and other permanent flood defence features into account when calculating insurance premiums – provided they meet the appropriate industry standards, have been installed by an industry professional and have been well maintained
Insurance comparison expert and founder of Quotezone.co.uk, Greg Wilson, advises: “Some car insurance providers stipulate that motorists must not drive the vehicle through flooded roads, and this clause is often present in fully-comp policies as well as less comprehensive levels of cover – rendering the policy invalid should this advice be ignored.
“With the added possibility of gales, it’s also sensible to make sure your car is roadworthy by checking tyres, oil, water and petrol before you set off. Investing in a winter emergency survival kit for your boot is also advisable; thermal blanket, torch, phone charger, emergency food/water rations, first aid kit – some of our insurance providers offer these as standard.
“With home insurance it’s always best to be honest with your provider, use the online flood map tool if you’re unsure of the exact distance to nearby rivers and double check your home for any potential issues especially in relation to the colder, wetter weather, such as added insulation for pipes.”
Quotezone.co.uk compare prices from over 110 UK car insurance providers and over 50 home insurance proivers – helping around 3 million users every year find a more competitive deal on their insurance. Advice on both home and car insurance products and suggestions for surviving the winter weather can be found on the guides section – quotezone.co.uk/guides.