Flaxmans on Floods: Update
Flaxmans continue to be involved in supporting a number of Doncaster residents whose properties were damaged by the floods in early November 2019. Very few claims have been declined altogether, but we are still finding that some are taking an inordinate amount of time to really get going. Three such residents have yet to even agree with their loss adjusters whether or not damp plaster needs to be removed before the drying out process can be completed.
For the record, Flaxmans will invariably expect that submerged plaster can never be left to dry out; as often it just conceals problems that will emerge in the years that follow. Plaster and certain types of wall insulation should always be high on the list of consideration, yet so often become an unnecessary stumbling block to getting the drying process and repairs underway.
There is at least one Doncaster resident who is yet to see any drying machines moved in, with the result that mould is growing and gradually making a bad situation even worse. Even allowing some time for an adjuster to agree policy coverage and discuss any difficult aspects of the claim, this simply will not do. This sort of experience only serves to undermine some of the good practice that we have observed elsewhere.
A large swathe of the UK continues to endure the worst floods in living memory, with at one point the government’s Environment Agency issuing a record 594 flood warnings or alerts – its map of the country was a sea of orange and red warning symbols.
Can we expect better things in all the towns and villages up and down the country, from the Calder Valley in Yorkshire to Pontypridd in South Wales? Most insurers can be relied upon to act promptly. But, using Doncaster as a guide, will there be some policyholders newly flooded today still waiting for drying machines to be installed and debating about the removal of plaster next June? We hope not.