Heavy flooding could lead to hike in insurance premiums

Insurance premiums could rise if flooding set to hit parts of Munster and Leinster this weekend leads to a rise in claims.

Heavy flooding could lead to hike in insurance premiums

The Irish Brokers Association warned that if claims rise as a result of the forecasted flooding in some parts of the country, it could have a knock-on effect on premiums.

Director general of services at the association, Brian McNelis, said that any flooding at this time of the year could hit premiums.

“Usually, such a large and unprecedented claims event would impact negatively on consumer insurance premiums, but any increase in rates will really depend on the level of weather-related claims over the winter. Events occurred in the winter of last year, however, which spiked renewal premiums,” he said.

With the flood warnings in mind, AA Home Insurance is encouraging people to clear their drains and gutters of leaves and other debris before they cause serious damage.

As a general rule of thumb the association has outlined the following steps for any homeowners affected by the floods:

- If necessary, arrange for emergency repairs to be carried out to stop any damage getting worse;

- Make every effort to keep evidence of damaged goods and/or receipt everything that you replace and even catalogue the items damaged or lost. Take pictures if you can.

- If you need to move out of your home while you are being repaired, check with your insurance broker — most policies will cover the cost of alternative accommodation (up to a specified limit).

- Make sure your insurance broker or company knows where to contact you if you have to move out of your home.

- Get advice where detailed, lengthy repairs are needed. Ensure the tradesman has adequate insurance to work in your premises.

- Mark the water levels on the walls for reference and photograph or video all flood damage.

- Have an expert check the power and gas supplies before turning them back on.

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