I heard an interesting interview this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. More than 800 homes were flooded last week and 300 flood warnings are in place across the country.
Mary Dhonau, who chairs the flood protection association which represents flood victims was asked how straightforward it was for people to go through the process of contacting insurers and getting their home back to normal. In her response she said this:
“It’s not at all straightforward. The average person is out of their home for about 9 months and people tend to think when they see the pictures on the news that they will be back in a matter of weeks. But sadly the drying process takes a long time and what people don’t realise is that they have to become project managers and building site foreman of their own home and negotiating with the insurance industry, builders, kitchen fitters, carpenters etc. can be considerably time consuming. Also we have to find somewhere else to live, and in times of mass flooding all the spare accommodation seems to be taken up and many people sadly end up living in caravan.”
Mary Dhonau is speaking from her own experience, having had several floods herself and from having dealt with other flood victims. I was annoyed that no mention was made of the role that Loss Assessors can play in alleviating the stress she describes, but I was not surprised because the vast majority of policyholders are unaware of their rights or that they could be professionally represented in making their insurance claim.