The flood insurance claims process is relatively simple; you get flooded, you phone your insurer and you register your claim, they assign your case to a loss adjuster who then gets your situation sorted out. But this doesn’t express how hard it can be to go through such a traumatic experience first-hand, and does little to demonstrate how long the whole process can take.

U.S. Geological Survey via Flickr

Reinstatement of a home will not be completed within a uniform time-frame, taking more or less time to complete depending on the scale of the flooding you experience and the damage done to your home (amongst a number of other contributory factors).

In the Aftermath:

You should aim to make contact with your house flood insurance provider as soon as possible after a flood to get the claims process going. However, being the first to call in will not always guarantee that you will be first to see the loss adjuster. In widespread flood events, you may need to wait until flooding clears to allow access to your area. Your insurer will be able to provide you with advice about finding temporary accommodation, and will fill you in about any evidence you might need to obtain in order to support your claim.

Assessment and Accommodation:

You may need to wait until your loss adjuster arrives before carrying out some work or disposing of flood damaged property; though if emergency work needs to be carried out to prevent further damage being done, this can be undertaken before the loss adjuster arrives (but you must make sure you hang on to all receipts). The loss adjuster will contact you first by phone, where they should indicate if/when they will attend your property. If required, the first thing they will do when they get to your home is undertake an initial assessment. The loss adjuster will be able to work out a time frame for the completion of repair work and assist you find alternative accommodation while the work is carried out.

Cleaning-Up and Stripping Down:

A loss adjuster will be able to arrange any cleaning-up and stripping down of your home if such work is covered by your flood risk insurance. Work will usually begin within four weeks of being discussed.

Drying Out and Disinfection:

If your home needs to be dried, then a specialist drying contractor will be instructed to begin the work (if your cover allows it). The drying and disinfection process can take between a few weeks and several months, relating both to the level of damage and the type of construction of your property. Timber framed buildings will often take longer than other types of building to dry, as wood can require additional treatment to prevent further difficulties later on. All developments should be communicated to you through the loss adjuster during this process, who should keep you up to date.

Reconstruction and Repair:

Builders and contractors can usually be liaised with through the loss adjuster, but you have a right to have some say in the process. Repairs will only begin once the property has been certified as being dry by the drying contractor.

Moving Back Home:

Once all is clear and safe, you and your family will be able to move back in. The point at which this stage is reached will depend entirely on the magnitude of any flooding and the damage caused. Your loss adjuster will let you know as soon as it is ready and should inform you throughout the reinstatement process of target completion times and how the work progresses.

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