Wide fluctuations in assessment of damage, says report

Damage management companies have applauded new research, which suggests flood-damaged property needs to be assessed more consistently across the insurance industry.

Lloyds TSB Insurance and the Built Environment Research Unit (BERU) at the University of Wolverhampton have found that differences in service provided to the insured in the event of a flood was often found to cause customer dissatisfaction.

The report looked at 37 hypothetical flood damage scenarios. It benchmarked different methods of repairing flood damage, including looking at a variety of building materials and their susceptibility to water damage. An example being if timber skirting boards were flooded they should be replaced and not restored.

Munters Property Damage Restoration divisional director Alasdair Phillips said that he agreed with the findings. "There needs to be standardised service from start to finish," he said.

"There should be an agreed procedure to deal with major flood claims - there's no point picking out one point in the chain."

The results showed there was no industry best practice in these situations.

The new report offers benchmarks and recommendations for best practice in the repair of flood-damaged properties in the UK.

It provides the insurance and construction industries with the first definitive recommendations for the reinstatement of flood-damaged domestic properties, based on the opinions of experts in the field including chartered building surveyor and loss adjusters.

Lloyds TSB Insurance managing director Jon Pain said: "For the homeowner, the aftermath of flood damage is often difficult to deal with. Customers want their damage assessed and rectified as soon as possible and to the highest possible standard.

"Benchmarking will help all involved to deal with remedial action in a consistent way."