We all know about the costs involved when a serious flood hits a region of the UK – but what about the mental and emotional impact?
has attempted to lift the lid on some of those effects by highlighting recent research from the University of Exeter, showing that flooding can have a long term impact on the well-being and mental health of those affected, with time out of the home being a key factor. The University survey showed that those who were evacuated and had to leave their homes suffered significantly lower well-being scores than those who weren’t.
Asked to rank their well-being both during and a year after the floods, (on a scale of 0-10 0=low, 10=high), evacuated respondents rated their well-being at an average of 4.6 during the floods compared to 6.8 for those who remained in their properties. The research also revealed that length of time out of homes, uncertainty about when they would be able to return, and stress relating to managing the repair process at a distance, were all cited as important issues affecting people’s well-being in the short and longer term following a flood.
“Flooding is one of the most traumatic events which can happen to a homeowner and this research shows the effects can be long-lasting,” said Rob Townend, UK claims director at Aviva
“Last winter we received over 2,000 flood claims and we were the first insurer on the ground in many areas, ready to help customers with advice and making claims. Helping customers when they need us most is what we’re here for and we want to improve on the great work our teams did last year, in particular around helping to recognise the stress that floods that cause.”
To help customers Aviva
has introduced a number of initiatives, including:
- Providing Aviva ‘psycho-social support’ workshops for frontline claims teams as part of the insurer’s partnership with British Red Cross.
- Providing access to ‘Support for Children & Young People after Flooding’ training, provided by the British Damage Management Association (BDMA)
- Providing dedicated flood emergency advice and information about flood resilience and resistance on Aviva’s online weather hub.
- Continuing its support of the British Red Cross emergency app to provide people with real time location specific flood and severe weather alerts.
- Improving the drying out process by better aligning equipment to each claim.
- Reducing the environmental impact of claims – reducing carbon emissions for severe flood claims by around 50% through more efficient energy use and travel.
“Floodwater can cause significant damage to properties; the water itself is often contaminated with raw sewage and the drying out and restoration process can often take many months,” added Townend. “But we’re improving the drying out process and avoiding unnecessary stripping of properties so homeowners can get back in their homes sooner.”
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