August 10, 2022

A flood could cause tens of 1000’s of kilos’ price of harm to your property and its contents, inflicting distress and inconvenience. That means it’s important to ensure you have appropriate home insurance coverage for flood-risk areas in place.

An estimated one in 5 houses within the UK is liable to flooding in accordance with JBA Threat Administration, which assesses flood danger. That quantity is bound to rise as we anticipate there to be extra flooding sooner or later, as winter rainfall will increase and sea ranges rise because of local weather change.

Insurer Aviva has seen this primary hand with a significant spike in dwelling insurance coverage claims for flood harm to houses in 2019 and 2020.

The Atmosphere Company estimated that flooding within the UK in 2019/20 precipitated £78 million price of harm however this could have been £2.2 billion if enhancements had not been made to flood defences.

Does a typical insurance coverage coverage provide enough cowl for homes in a flood-risk space?

Customary buildings and contents insurance coverage insurance policies do cowl harm attributable to flooding but when your property has been flooded earlier than otherwise you’re in a flood-risk space some insurers gained’t cowl you in opposition to flooding. Or you can need to pay considerably extra to your coverage and pay a excessive extra (the quantity of a declare it’s a must to pay your self) on any flood declare .

‘Insurers use quite a lot of knowledge sources to find out the related danger of properties which may be in flood-risk areas and whether or not they can present an insurance coverage coverage for the house,’ says Anthony Mellor, head of dwelling insurance coverage at Atlanta Group, which incorporates dealer Swinton Insurance coverage.

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Is home insurance coverage for flood-risk areas costly?

Dwelling insurance coverage prices for flood-risk areas is just not essentially increased. To assist households in flood-risk areas that had been struggling to get inexpensive flood cowl, in 2016 the insurance coverage business launched Flood Re.

Flood Re is a not-for-profit reinsurance firm that helps collaborating insurance coverage corporations cowl their losses from paying flood insurance coverage claims. This implies extra of them can provide flood insurance coverage they usually can maintain the price of premiums and excesses down.

‘The business labored alongside the federal government to design, develop and implement Flood Re,’ says Malcolm Tarling of the Affiliation of British Insurers. ‘Shoppers buy dwelling insurance coverage from an insurer within the regular manner and their insurer decides whether or not to cede (go on) the flood danger aspect of the coverage to Flood Re.’

You possibly can profit from Flood Re for those who dwell in an space with a excessive danger of flooding and your property was constructed earlier than 2009.

Go to the Flood Re web site to see an inventory of the insurers that supply cowl via it, which incorporates many well-known manufacturers, and discover out whether or not you qualify. In case you do, store round collaborating insurers to seek out the perfect coverage to your wants (quite than the most cost effective) that covers you for flooding.

Be sure you test the surplus that may apply to a flood declare to ensure you could be comfortable to pay it. The upper the surplus you conform to the decrease the premium is prone to be.

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Comparability websites might not be one of the simplest ways to seek out insurance coverage for a property liable to flooding as they’re extra appropriate for evaluating commonplace insurance policies. ‘An insurance coverage dealer could properly be capable to assist discover essentially the most acceptable insurer to your specific wants,’ says Malcolm Tarling. Alternatively, contact insurers instantly.

How do I do know if my property is in a flood-risk space?

You possibly can test whether or not your property is liable to flooding on-line in accordance with the place you reside within the UK:

  • For England and Wales see the flood maps on Gov.uk
  • For Scotland see the Scottish Atmosphere Safety Company flood maps
  • For Northern Eire see the Division for Infrastructure flood maps

Picture credit score: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

The maps for England and Wales put areas into flood zones. Zone 1 means there’s a low likelihood of the world flooding (lower than a 0.1% probability of flooding in a yr). Zone 2 signifies medium likelihood. Zone 3 signifies excessive likelihood (a 1% probability or extra of river flooding in a yr and a 0.5% probability or extra of sea flooding) or a floodplain.

The Scottish maps present a low, medium or excessive chance of flooding and the maps for Northern Eire give a proportion probability of flooding in a yr.

Your solicitor or conveyancer can even test for flood danger whenever you’re shopping for a property. If you’re shopping for a house in a flood-risk space, it’s price discovering out whether or not any measures have been put in to guard the property from flooding, or how a lot it could value to put in them if not.

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How can I scale back the possibility of my dwelling flooding?

There are measures you may take to guard your property from flood harm. ‘These can minimise harm attributable to water and allow you to return to your property faster,’ says Adam Winslow, CEO of UK & Eire normal insurance coverage at Aviva. ‘They are often put in after a flood declare or beforehand.’

Flood-resistance measures assist to cease water coming into your property whereas flood-resilience measures assist to guard your property if flood water is available in.

Flood-resistance measures embody:

  • Flood gates on doorways and home windows
  • Non-return valves on bathrooms to cease sewage coming into your property
  • Air brick covers and self-closing air bricks

Flood-resilience measures embody:

  • Changing carpets with strong flooring
  • Transferring plug sockets increased up
  • Utilizing waterproof plaster on partitions
  • Storing invaluable and necessary gadgets on excessive cabinets or upstairs
  • Fixing TVs and different electrical home equipment to the wall above the potential water stage

It’s best to get recommendation from a specialist flood surveyor about which measures might be finest to your dwelling based mostly on the property, the surroundings and the kind of potential flooding earlier than putting in any. You’ll find one on the Royal Establishment of Chartered Surveyors web site.

Following a authorities session in 2021, modifications are to be made to the Flood Re scheme. Giving households which have skilled flooding discounted insurance coverage premiums in the event that they set up these measures. They can even be capable to get assist with the price of putting in them.

It’s best to signal as much as any flood warnings obtainable in your space to provide you loads of time to organize for a flood.

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