14th February 2020
Just a week after Storm Ciara caused widespread damage and disruption across the UK, Storm Dennis is expected to bring further heavy rain and strong winds this weekend.
It is perhaps timely that a new cross-industry code of practice for flood resilience was launched at the House of Commons on Monday 10 February 2020. It is aimed at a wide range of audiences, including insurers, loss adjusters and insurance brokers. The new code sets standards for measures designed to both prevent floodwater entering buildings, ‘resistance measures’, as well as limit the damage caused if floodwater does enter, ‘recoverability measures’. Often such measures are installed as part of the repair of buildings after they have been flooded, although they can also be installed proactively prior to damage occurring.
Hawkins has seen numerous instances of inadequate flood resilience measures, and we welcome the publication of the code of practice. We also look forward to the publication of the associated supporting guidance on how the standards should be achieved, which is expected later in 2020. The standards will provide a benchmark for good practice to ensure that flood resilience measures are installed consistently and effectively.
Experts in investigating wind damage after a storm will also know that different buildings will be subject to varying wind load requirements during their design, based on factors such as the building height, the local topography, the effect of adjacent buildings (if any), and the building’s distance from the sea. Storm damage is often blamed on excessive winds, but our investigations nearly always show that a design or construction defect led to the failure of the structure.
Our expert hydrologists, civil and structural engineers have many years of experience investigating flooding and storm damage. Please contact us if you require assistance with any storm damage claims.