If your home suffers from a flood, the consequences can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. And with the UK yet again experiencing widespread flooding, here are some frequently asked Flood Insurance questions that may help you …
Do all home insurance policies include flood insurance?
Not all home insurance policies include cover against loss or damage from flooding.
The exclusion of this risk may be decided by an insurer reluctant to extend cover for a property situated in an area believed to be vulnerable to flooding or which has been the subject of flood claims in the past.
The decision to exclude flood insurance might also be taken by the property owner, in attempt to reduce the cost of premiums, because of the high cost of cover which includes such protection.
What help is available in helping me find flood insurance?
After a spate of severe winters and widespread flooding, both the government and insurance industry generally recognised the difficulties faced by some home owners in obtaining flood insurance at an affordable price.
In response, a scheme called Flood Re was introduced to secure additional financial backing – funded by contributions from participating insurers – to help the affected home owners.
How does Flood Re work?
It is a re-insurance scheme, allowing insurers themselves to insure the risks they have taken on by offering cover for flooding.
Participating insurers pay a re-insurance premium for security against the risk of flood claims, so that cover may be provided to property owners at a lower cost.
The scheme is a re-insurance scheme, allowing insurers to insure the risks they themselves take on in providing flood cover. Participating insurance companies have therefore become more confidence in providing flood cover – at a lower cost to property owners.
It is important to note that not all insurance providers are part of the Flood Re scheme, so when looking for flood insurance, make sure the flood insurance broker you use has access to participating insurers.
So, I need Flood Re to arrange my home insurance?
No. As a re-insurance scheme, Flood Re works entirely behind the scenes and you apply to your regular home insurer in the normal way and conduct all your insurance needs, including any claims, with that same insurer.
To all intents and purposes, as far as any claim is concerned, you are unlikely to know that Flood Re is even there – except for the fact that your flood insurance premiums may have become more affordable.
How do I find out if my home is vulnerable to flooding?
If you have made previous claims for flood damage, this is clearly some indication of a vulnerability. If you are thinking about buying a property, you may want to ask the vendor about any history of flooding problems.
Otherwise, you may check the officially assessed risk of flooding – from either the sea or local rivers – by visiting the National Flood Information Service. By entering the postcode of the property you want to check, the searchable map indicates the likelihood of long-term flooding risks according to a four-point scale ranging from very low, low, medium to high.
Are there ways to flood-proof my home?
It is simply not possible to secure your home against any possibility of flood damage – but there are a number of steps you may take to mitigate the losses likely to be caused.
One of the more comprehensive lists of these measures appears on the website of the Home Owners’ Alliance (HOA).