When the storms hit

December 2015 was the UK’s wettest month on record and York, home to Benenden’s head office, was among the areas deluged by Storm Frank. Around 600 homes and businesses in the city were affected by the floods and 250 people evacuated.

Benenden donated £25,000 to the York Flood Appeal, having felt the effects first hand. For the first time in its history the Benenden contact centre in York had to be closed during working hours due to flooding.

“With the phone lines down, regrettably there was little else that could be done and many staff would have struggled to get into work that day,” said Vicki Pennington, senior contact centre manager. “However, we were soon up and running again with our dedicated team of staff keen to get back to answering calls.”

As members will be aware, Benenden began selling home insurance in 2015 and while, fortunately, none of our insurance policyholders has had to claim due to floods, our insurance partner RSA has been heavily involved in assisting in flood-hit areas including York.

Throughout Storm Frank, as well as Desmond and Eva, RSA was quick to respond, sending its emergency response vehicle (ERV) first to Carlisle and then Radcliffe in Greater Manchester. Over a period of three days, the ERV team helped dozens of customers and other members of the communities affected by the floods, supporting them with making claims and getting advice. Loss adjusters were able to visit customers to start the claims process and assess the damage.

“Our previous flood experience ensured we were able to step in and help our customers quickly and effectively – we even had people on the ground on Boxing Day visiting customers and helping with alternative accommodation,” said Craig Monks, RSA national events coordinator.

He added: “We made contact with all customers within 24 hours of notification, and managed to inspect 90% of the properties affected by storms Eva and Frank before the first week of January.”

Find out more:

RSA has compiled an advice hub for clients who have been affected by the floods – and some tips for preparing for such an event. See http://rsagroup.com/rsagroup/en/home/UKFloods#.VpYkH5OLTq0 

RSA also has a dedicated ‘Winter Smart’ web page about what to do in poor winter weather:

See http://rsagroup.com/rsagroup/en/home/Get-Winter-Smart#.Vpdld_mLRhE

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