- NFU Mutual has dealt with over 15,000 claims since December 2013
- Final claims bill expected to around £90 million
- Families, fine art and horses may require emergency evacuation when flooding occurs
- Homeowners may face years of upheaval while repairs are carried out
As the floodwater recedes and an army of builders and restoration experts begin the long process of drying out properties and replacing ruined floors, plasterwork, skirting boards, woodwork and kitchens, NFU Mutual is warning that it could take a couple of years for things to return to normal for some homeowners.
Since early December, NFU Mutual, the UK’s largest rural insurer, has dealt with over 15,000 claims for storms and floods and anticipates that the final bill will around £90 million.
“The scale of the damage to property can be gauged by the fact that we have made emergency payments totalling more than £500,000 and have rehoused sixty families while their own homes are dried-out and repaired,” explains Nicki Whittaker, a Rural Affairs Specialist at NFU Mutual.
“Whilst relocating families is always a priority in situations like this, it’s important to remember that domestic pets, horses and even fine art and antiques may also need to be moved to a place of safety when homes and grounds are submerged by floodwater.”
Water can ruin fine art and antiques and items of value might need to be removed from the premises and placed into secure storage until the property has been dried out and repaired. In some cases, this could take up to three years, particularly if the property is listed or requires complex repairs or restoration.
Where horses are kept at a domestic property, they may also need to be moved to alternative accommodation if the field or stables in which they are kept becomes flooded.
“What the recent floods have highlighted is the need for homeowners to be as prepared as possible for a major event such as a fire or flood,” Nicki continues. The insurer is urging homeowners to consider exactly what they would do if faced by a household emergency such as flood, fire or escape of water while the devastation of the recent flooding is still at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness.
“A home is not just bricks and mortar: it’s where you bring up your family, entertain your friends and it is often full of treasured possessions and memories,” Nicki explains. ““Having an emergency plan in place and understanding exactly what your insurance will and will not cover is essential. After all, being prepared is one of the best ways of protecting the things you value.”
About NFU Mutual
NFU Mutual offers a wide range of products, including general insurance, life, pensions, and investments. These products and services are delivered through the agency network, as well as through a direct sales and service centre.
With over 300 offices located in rural towns and villages throughout the UK, NFU Mutual has become part of the fabric of rural life and remains committed to serving the needs of people who visit, live or work in the countryside.
NFU Mutual is The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited (No. 111982). Registered in England. Registered Office: Tiddington Road, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire CV37 7BJ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. A member of the Association of British Insurers.
For security and training purposes, telephone calls may be recorded and monitored.