Storm, flood, or being sued? What to do before making a claim
If you're in the process of making a claim, we know you're probably anxious about limiting any further damage or loss.
Rest assured, once you've logged a claim with us, you'll be assigned a dedicated UK-based claims handler, who will help you get your property or business back up and running.
In the meantime, there's a few things you can do to reduce the damage. We've put together some guidance on what to do if there is a flood, or if you're being sued.
Minimising flood damage
If you've been affected by a flood, there are several steps you can take to help reduce any further damage to your property. If you're a landlord, it's also worth letting your tenants know what they should do in the event of a flood.
- Firstly, turn off any utilities such as the gas and electricity supply, as long as it is safe to do so.
- Look to move contents including electrical items, valuables, important documents and family mementos upstairs if possible. If this isn't possible, small items can be placed in high cupboards to keep them out of the water.
- Dry out any rugs and items as quickly as possible - this will help give them the best chance at returning to their original condition. Don't lift the carpets unless it is absolutely necessary as it might cause them to shrink.
- Consider using sandbags to block drains, air bricks, windows, doors and any other openings to the property.
For more tips and advice, as well as preventative tips for properties prone to flooding, see our useful guide here.
Minimising storm damage
- Turn off your power at the mains if you think that the cables are damaged. Leave them until they can be inspected by a professional. Don't touch electrical or telephone cables if they've blown down or are hanging loose.
- Move any storm-damaged items somewhere safe and move any other vulnerable items to prevent them from being damaged.
- Dry out any water damaged rugs or soft furnishings. Don't lift the carpets unless you or your tenants think it's absolutely needed, as it might cause them to shrink.
- Carry out any temporary repairs to the building to help reduce the risk of further damage. Take photographs of the original damage and share these with your insurer.
For more advice on what to do if your property has been damaged by a storm, see our useful guide here.
What to do if you're being sued
As a business owner you want to make sure that your customers and clients are happy with your service, whether that be providing advice or fixing something. However, mistakes happen, and you may find yourself liable.
If you're sued, there are several types of insurance that can cover your business, depending on the situation. These include:
- Public liability covers the legal and compensation costs you're required to pay if a member of the public is injured, or their property is damaged, because of your business activities.
- Professional indemnity covers the compensation costs and legal fees your business is required to pay if a client accuses you of negligence and makes a claim against you.
- Product liability covers you if a member of the public makes a claim against you due to injury caused by a product you supplied or manufactured.
- Cyber insurance covers damages payable to a third party if you or your service provider fail to prevent a data breach. It will also cover you if you unintentionally transmit or fail to prevent a virus, hacking attack or denial of service attack from your computer system.
Each cover will come with their own set of protocols that you should follow, but here's some general rules to follow before making a claim if you're being sued:
- Firstly, alert your insurer as soon as you are aware you're being sued - your insurer will have stated in your policy documents on how quickly you need to notify them in the event of a claim arising.
- If you're unsure whether the claim against you is valid, it's always best to speak to your insurer who will be able to advise you.
- Don't respond to the person or company that is suing you without having first sought out advice. You can acknowledge that you are being sued by them but only if a response is required.
Our business policies include access to a legal advice helpline, which may be helpful should you want to seek advice. Our customers can find out how to access this support in their policy documents.