If your home has been classified as a high flood risk it can be difficult to obtain home insurance but options do exist. Flooding seems to be an increasing problem in Britain and with many linking the phenomenon to global warming it looks likely to continue. According to the Met Office, 2012 was the wettest year on record for England and close to that for the UK as a whole. Looking at the five wettest years recorded, four have occurred since 2000. It is no surprise then that for homes in flood prone areas home insurance has become a vexing issue.
The Statement of Principles
The government launched a Statement of Principles in 2008 in conjunction with the insurance industry. It was intended that this would make flooding insurance widely available with insurance companies being required in most cases to offer flood cover as standard. This does not, however, guarantee cover in cases where a property is estimated to be at considerable risk of flooding. This Statement of Principles expires in June of this year and thus far there has been no agreement on an extension or replacement. If no agreement is reached it will be up to each individual insurance company to come to its own decision as to whether it renews policies on flood risk properties or writes new policies on similarly affected homes.
Learning that your home is considered to be in a high flood risk area can obviously be extremely disconcerting but there are still some conventional insurance companies who will look at insuring your property. Direct Line for example is a well known company who seem open to giving quotes on flood risk properties. Although some standard home insurance companies might be able to help, you might find more choice if you consider some of the specialist companies.
Magnet Insurance is one who specialises in a number of niche areas including flood risk properties and their policies are underwritten by Lloyd’s of London. Another is Bond Lovis Insurance Brokers. This company is experienced in arranging insurance in specialist areas such as listed buildings, properties with a history of subsidence and also flood risk homes. Other insurance brokers who are active in this area include the RK Harrison Group, Adrian Flux and Home Protect. Whichever company you choose to talk to will want to know some information about the flood risks at your property so it is worth having the answers to hand.
The cost of cover
Questions will probably include information on what local flood defences are in place. They will also want to know if your own property has ever suffered flood damage, when that occurred and what the extent of the damage was. If you have a basement in the property they will want to know if anything valuable is stored there. When you do agree a policy it is inevitable that it will cost more than for a property in a non flood risk area. Analysts say that you should expect to pay around 20% more in a high risk area which has not so far suffered loss due to flooding. That can extend up to 100% more for properties that have experienced significant damages and made sizeable previous claims. It is to be hoped that the government and insurance industry can reach agreement on a new Statement of Principles before it expires in June.