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Flooding can devastate your home or business. Sadly, many Trinbagonians know this all too well. Tropical Storm Karen left serious floods in its wake in September 2019. Unfortunately, the Met Office has predicted an increased risk of flooding for the rest of the year.

We sincerely hope that you don’t experience the harsh realities of flooding. However, you shouldn’t wait until you’re a victim to wonder what you should do and how your insurance company can help. In this blog, we’ll walk you through what to do before, during and after a flood.

Your Insurance – It’s Never Too Early to Review

First things first, do you have insurance coverage in case of a flood? Is your house covered? Your fridge? What about your car? Let’s take a quick look at the different types of insurance.

Houseowner’s insurance, or building insurance, covers the actual building including walls, items affixed to walls and gates. Householder’s insurance, also called content insurance, covers the contents of your property such as furniture or appliances. If you’ve got a vehicle, make sure that your coverage includes flooding. If you’ve got a moment after reading this blog, call or email your insurance provider to make sure you’re covered.

Before a Flood Flooding: What to do Before, During & After

Flash flood water can rise rapidly. If you live in a flood-prone area, consider barriers that will prevent floodwaters flowing into your home. Remember, sandbags can be used to build an emergency levee. Check out our earlier blog on Disaster Preparedness for more tips.

During the Flood

Your safety should always be the priority. Don’t ever step into floodwaters. You don’t know whether animals (like rats!) or sharp objects may be lurking there.

Don’t touch electrical equipment if you’re wet or standing in water. Remember to look out for children, who may forget this rule when faced with a flood.

Immediately after the Flood Flooding: What to do Before, During & After

We know… you want to clean up right away. But please don’t discard any damaged items. Take pictures of waterlogged areas as these may be helpful when reviewing insurance claims. Make a list of items that you’ll be claiming for. We

understand that flooding can be traumatic and you may not want to think about the damage. But trust us, this list will help your claim to be processed quickly.

Then it’s time to notify your insurance agent or broker. The insurance company will then appoint an adjuster to visit your property to determine the extent of the damage. Your pictures and list will help the adjuster to do their job. Remember, the adjuster is here to help – they’ll also advise whether you need to take any additional action.

And then what???

The adjuster will send a report to your insurance company. Soon you’ll get a Form of Acceptance, which details the amount the company is proposing to pay. You’ll also get a letter explaining how they arrived at this figure. You’ll have to sign to show you’re in agreement. After that, you’ll be able to collect your cheque! We know you’ll want that money right away; so if you’re part of the Maritime family, just let us know which branch or agent you’d like to collect the cheque from.

No one wants to experience flooding, or any natural disaster. But if you do, hopefully you have a better idea of how to get back on your feet.