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Flood Insurance Claims On The Rise

flood insuranceThousands of home and vehicle owners have been forced to make insurance claims over the Christmas period thanks to the extreme weather that has been affecting the UK. The AA have released a report showing that they took approximately 1,000 home insurance claims because of storms and flooding along with 130 car insurance claims as a result of the extreme winds in December. The AA has a special operations team who are qualified to rescue victims who are stuck in floods by utilising their specially adapted 4x4 vehicles. This team has rescued over 1,100 vehicles from floods since the 23rd December which averages out at 100 vehicles per day.

Many drivers chose to ignore ‘road closed’ signs, causing their vehicles to get stuck in flooded areas. AA’s insurance director Simon Douglas said: “A majority of these home insurance claims have been for dislodged tiles and slates, windows broken by debris carried by the storm, dislodged aerials that have gone on to cause further damage and trees or branches brought down by high winds, as well as flooding. We have been able to warn our customers of approaching damaging weather, offering advice on how to prepare for the worst as well as providing links and telephone numbers for further information.”

Insurance claimants have been advised to take emergency action in order to keep their homes safe, if necessary, up to the value of £1,000. A lot of people have taken this advice on board, preventing thousands of pounds worth of extra damage to their property, which will, in turn, save a lot of money on future insurance premiums. Mr Douglas commented further on the lack of care taken by motorists, saying: “I’m concerned that so many drivers are reported to have ignored warnings not to drive down flooded roads, even attempting to drive through deep water covering a closed road. Many of our special operation patrols have been working flat out over the Christmas period. Many of their rescues have been 4x4 drivers who are under the impression that their vehicles can cope with anything.” Unfortunately, these victims have learnt their lesson the hard way – ‘off road’ capability does not include flood water.

James Savery, 02 January 2014

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