The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have unveiled a proposed design for a traffic light warning system to help buyers understand flood risk when house hunting. The proposed symbols are intended to prompt buyers to investigate flood risk properly and would be found on property advertisements.
Although property advertisements already include key information such as energy certificates, James Dalton, Direct of General Insurance Policy at the ABI has said ‘easily available information about the flood risk of an area is a glaring omission that needs to be put right’.
Less than 1 in 3 investigate flood risk before buying a home according to the ABI
There have been some critics of the symbols, with estate agents saying that the symbols would stop buyers from viewing a property and block sales.
The government however appear to support the idea, highlighting the importance of people being able to understand flood risk, to make informed decisions about where they live. This change is also in-line with a move towards improved Flood Warnings being available from the Environment Agency and more advanced flood mapping than ever before.
Warnings will be based on postcode wide information. A red warning would mean that ‘this property is in an area at high risk of flooding. You should request further detail to understand the flood risk, any measures put in place to protect the property and specialist advice from an expert before making an offer’
Whilst the idea is voluntary at the moment, the ABI has said that it may consider asking to make in compulsory if estate agents do not take it up.