A new scheme will be launched in 2015 to help householders obtain affordable insurance for their flood-risk homes, but what can you do in the meantime?
Even if you don’t believe in climate change there’s no getting away from the fact that we live in a country renowned for its green grass - green because it gets plenty of rain. Sometimes that rain comes down very quickly and causes flash floods and sometimes it falls over a long period of time and causes widespread flooding. If your property is in an at-risk flooding area it’s vitally important to ensure that you have adequate insurance to protect against flood damage. For properties that have previously been flooded or are located in an at-risk area, many standard insurance policies may not offer the level of cover needed.
A new not-for-profit scheme is being developed called ‘Flood Re’ that will ensure flood insurance remains widely affordable and available to homeowners at high risk of flooding. Flood Re will provide a fund to offer set price cover to homeowners who might otherwise struggle to get affordable flood insurance. If an insurance company feels unable to offer cover for homes at high risk of flooding (estimated to be some 350,000 homes), they can place them in the fund, where the premium to cover the flood risk part of the household will be capped. The scheme is set to be up and running by summer 2015.
As an insurance customer you won’t notice any difference and will continue to be insured by your usual insurer.
In the meantime, there are brokers and companies that specialise in covering this particular risk. To get the best terms from insurers it’s always best to be prepared to answer any questions the insurer may have around the flood risk at your property.
Information commonly requested includes:
- Proximity of water – how near the water is to your property and how high above the water the property is.
- History of flooding – detailed information of flooding in and around the area, no matter how long ago.
- What measures have been taken since the area last flooded including:
- Environment Agency schemes, such as the upgrading of flood defences
- Any property level measures you have put in place yourself
- If you are a member of a local Flood Action Group.
- Flood claims history – if a claim has been made, details of the cost of repairs and what work was carried out.
Insurance companies are always very cautious about flood areas and so the more information you have at hand, the better the understanding the insurers will have around the risk. This means you'll be more likely to secure greater levels of cover with lower excesses.
And from the middle of 2015 flood insurance should be that much more available and affordable.
Further information about home insurance and flooding visit www.gov.uk website.
- Know your risk
- Be prepared
- Have a Plan