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Home insurance crucial as more floods are predicted

17 January 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Homeowners are being warned of the possibility of further flooding and some are already seeing the effects of recent weather conditions which have breached their homes once again.

The forecasts for a combination of flooding and high winds to come have urged Halifax Home Insurance to encourage people to ensure they have adequate home insurance in case their homes are damaged, especially the five million people living in areas threatened by flooding, and those affected by last summer's floods, the consequences of which are still ongoing and many families remain displaced from their homes.

"The number of homes at risk of flood has trebled in recent years", said Halifax's head of underwriting, David Rochester, "but there are several simple steps homeowners can take before a flood hits that can go a long way towards minimising water damage. Those who are already flooded can also take measures to ensure their property is returned to its normal state with as little disruption as possible."

Halifax's recommendations include putting sandbags outside of doors and windows to reduce the amount of water entering the property, turning off mains supplies of water, electricity and gas, disconnecting pipes to appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers to avoid damage to the pipes, and moving as many furniture items, curtains, rugs and other belongings as possible upstairs.

For those homeowners whose property is under threat from windstorm damage, Halifax recommends securing any objects which could cause further damage, such as garden furniture, barbeques, and bicycles, and locking things behind securely fastened shed doors. Cutting back low branches which have the potential to cause damage can also limit the fallout of high winds.

Officials have said that the next several days will prove critical in assessing the potential damage to homes, and last night the Environment Agency had 71 flood warnings in place as many homeowners battened down the hatches against the elements for the second or third time in just eight months.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd