A guide to protecting your home and staying safe

If your home is at risk of flooding, here’s a simple checklist of things you can do to help limit the damage, stay safe and make a claim:

Shift your valuables

Move valuable possessions, furniture, and especially electrical items upstairs, or put them on high shelves out of the way of the flood water.

Stock up on sandbags

Block up potential water entry points like ground-floor doors and garden gates with sandbags - these may be available from your local council.

Move long curtains

Take down any curtains that fall near the floor, or hang them over the rail to keep them dry.

Block all plugholes

Put plugs into sinks and baths, and weigh them down with something heavy.

Keep away from flood water

If your home is flooded, stay away from the flood water as much as possible, and wash thoroughly if you do come into contact with it.

Mark up and take photos

After a flood, use a marker pen to mark the point reached by the flood water and photograph any damage.

For up-to-the-minute weather warnings for your area, visit:



Making a claim - if you own a property:

  • Call your insurer and tell them you are making a claim because of a flood.
  • The insurer might send a loss adjuster to assess the cost of the damage, and if your policy includes alternative accommodation while flood damage repairs are carried out to your home, they can make these arrangements too. Be sure to find out from your insurer how long the process will take.
  • Be aware, the adjuster may not be able to come out immediately, but in the meantime, try to leave any damaged items where they are until the loss adjuster sees them. Ensure they have the right contact details for you, and can gain access to your home.
  • When making a claim, keep a record of all contact with your insurer, including who you spoke to, when and what was agreed, and keep hold of any letters, emails and receipts for repair work.

Making a claim - if you rent:

  • Call your landlord. They are responsible for repairing any damage to the fabric of your home - things like the carpets, or fixtures and fittings - as well as any furniture that came with the house, and claiming for them on a buildings insurance policy.
  • Also ask your landlord about temporary accommodation if necessary, as this may be covered in their buildings insurance policy.
  • If any of your possessions have been damaged, you’ll need to claim on your contents insurance policy. Call your contents insurer to discuss the next steps.
  • Take photographs of all of your damaged items, as this will help when making a claim.
  • Keep a record of all contact with your insurer, including who you spoke to, when and what was agreed, and keep hold of any letters and emails.

Download our flooding guide


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