Households and businesses affected by damage caused by Storm Ciaran are being reminded to keep receipts and check the terms of their insurance policies.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) said that temporary emergency repairs at a reasonable cost should be paid by insurers, but people should make sure they keep all of their receipts.
Many home insurance policies and business policies cover flood and water damage, but it is important to check exclusions or excesses in the policy that may affect the cover, it said.
Strong winds and rain from Storm Ciaran have been battering parts of the UK, including the south of England and the Channel Islands. In Jersey, people were forced to take refuge in a hotel after winds in excess of 100mph from the storm damaged property.
Flooding is expected in 54 areas, according to the Environment Agency, most of which are on the south coast of England.
Flood damage caused to cars should be covered by comprehensive motor insurance, and Biba suggested that cars standing in water for any length of time should be checked as brakes or other components may be affected.
If a home has been made uninhabitable, the reasonable cost of alternative accommodation will usually be met, up to stated limits, by insurers, it said.
The exact terms and conditions of individual insurance policies will vary.
Furniture should be pulled away from walls to prevent further damage, and drying out a building can take months, so people should not be in a hurry to redecorate, Biba said.
People should contact their insurance company, broker or agent as soon as possible for advice on how to progress a claim, Biba added.
A flood insurance directory to help people living in flood-prone areas to find suitable cover has been created by Biba, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Flood Re scheme.
This can be found at www.biba.org.uk/find-insurance?find-insurance-type=41#filter&pageNumber=1.