Cantabrians are being warned to record evidence of any damage caused by the heavy rain and flooding before cleaning it up.
As surface flooding continues to wreak havoc across the region on Monday, Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Karen Stevens is urging people to photograph and video the damage to their house, property and belongings for their insurers.
Stevens also warned people to make a list of all their damaged items before disposing of anything.
"This is an extremely difficult time for those who are dealing with flooded homes or properties," said Stevens.
"It’s only natural to want to start the clean-up process immediately. However, we urge people to take a moment and contact their insurers and to record the damage first.
"We’ve dealt with a number of insurance-related complaints over the years where people have rolled up their sleeves and got in straight away - cleaning up and throwing away items. Later in the insurance claims process, this can lead to problems when proving damage.
"Being clear about things from the start can prevent angst later down the track."
If you are unable to get back into your home, Stevens recommends calling your insurer to ask about temporary accommodation cover.
Before you clean up any damage, Stevens recommends: