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How to weather the storm

27th October 2011

  • Direct Line gives households advice to protect their home from flooding
  • Met Office warning heavy rain in the South West of England and Scotland
  • Warning of localised flooding

Direct Line is at the ready, fully prepared to provide help and advice to people who may be affected by the recent severe weather across the UK.

If flooding occurs, Direct Line will deploy its emergency teams to the affected areas to help cope with the damage, as well as authorise repairs and alternative accommodation where necessary. Direct Line has a vehicle that it can use as a mobile office which will be deployed to an area affected by severe weather if needed where customers can come and meet Direct Line’s emergency team to get advice on their claim.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for rain in parts of Cornwall and Devon. Streams and rivers may burst their banks and the public should be prepared for disruption due to flooding.

The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning for a period of heavy rain accompanied by strong winds for southwest England, western Wales and Northern Ireland and a yellow alert for a period of heavy rain to affect parts of Scotland on Tuesday. There may be some localised flooding.

Stuart Curson, head of Direct Line home insurance, comments: “We are keeping a close eye on the weather forecasts across the UK, so that we can be ready to assist any customers who may need our help. We have added extra members of staff to help cope with an anticipated increase in the number of calls from our customers.”

Householders cannot control the weather, but there are steps they can take to protect their homes. Direct Line offers the following advice to householders at risk:

  • Ensure any drains and gutters are clear of debris so rainfall can drain from your property effectively
  • Place valuable and electrical items in high cupboards to reduce the impact of any flood damage
  • Ensure outdoor furniture and other items likely to float away are safely restrained to reduce the risk of these items causing secondary damage
  • Establish an evacuation plan for your family. This will reduce the risk of injury to your loved ones and give you more time to save items of sentimental and material value
  • While it is safe to use electrical equipment, keep up to date with the latest weather and flood warnings by monitoring local television and radio services
  • If your property has flooded switch off your mains power supply to reduce the risk of electrocution and fire caused by floodwater
  • Store important documents, including insurance policy details and useful contact numbers in a watertight bag in a dry accessible place, preferably upstairs
  • Make up a flood emergency kit and keep it in a safe place. Include key personal documents, a torch and portable radio with spare batteries, warm clothing, blankets, rubber boots and gloves, cleaning equipment, disinfectant and detergent, heavy duty refuse bags, a first aid kit and any essential medication
  • Make a list of useful numbers you may need – your insurer, your local council, the emergency services and the number of Floodline, tel: 0845 988 1188
  • Buy air brick covers or flood boards to block doorways

Direct Line offers the following advice to householders if flooding does occur:

  • Direct Line customers: If your property is damaged, please contact our 24 hour emergency helpline on 0845 601 3004 as soon as possible
  • If you need to move to alternative accommodation, the cost is normally covered under your insurance policy, but please check this when speaking to the claims team
  • Take photographs of the damage to your building and contents or film the footage; they may help with the settlement of your claim
  • Do not throw away possessions without first discussing it with your claims adviser, as they will need to be assessed.
  • Do not use the electrical equipment or gas supply until it has been checked by a qualified tradesman
  • Wash taps and run them for a few minutes before use
  • Do not rush to redecorate your home as it can take weeks for a flood-damaged property to fully dry out
  • Do not lift wet carpets unless absolutely necessary as they may shrink

Notes to editors

Home insurance experts available for interviews

For further information please contact:

Claire Foster
PR Manager
Direct Line
Claire.foster@rbs.co.uk
020 8285 8682
07900 217 264

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides car, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com