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If you live in a medium or high risk flood area you will know how difficult and expensive it used to be to get adequate flood damage insurance — thankfully that is not the case today.
The flood damage insurance cost burden was eased in April 2016 when the insurance industry collaborated with the Government to launch the Flood Reinsurance scheme, ‘Flood Re’ for short.
Your flood damage insurance questions answered
There’s nothing the team at Adrian Flux insurance services — the country’s largest independent specialist home insurance intermediary — doesn’t know about flood damage insurance.
Here Lewis Wills (pictured below), household team supervisor at Adrian Flux, answers your questions about Flood Re and flood insurance.
What is Flood Re and how does it work?
“There was a time when flood damage insurance and flood excesses were astronomically overpriced. People couldn’t afford to pay the policy premiums and in the event of making a claim they couldn’t afford to pay the excess they had agreed. The Flood Re Scheme was developed to put flood insurance back within the financial grasp of homeowners. It is estimated by the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy that 370,000 homes are eligible for Flood Re insurance cover.”
Does Flood Re flood damage insurance cover all properties?
Flood Re is available to all homeowners living in properties built before 2009 and unoccupied properties too. But is doesn’t cover commercial buildings, small or large, nor the buy-to-let market, “If you are a tenant, however, you can get contents flood damage insurance with Flood Re.”
What can I do if my home was built after 2009 and it’s in a high risk flood area?
“Specialist insurance intermediaries such as Adrian Flux should be able to help. Failing that, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association has a commercial flood damage insurance scheme in place so they would be worth a call too.”
Why have some people been told their flood damage insurance is invalid?
“Insurance companies need a valid reason to decline a claim so if that has happened, it could be that when the householder took out their insurance policy they were misinformed or ill-advised and that flood damage insurance was never actually in place. It could be that knowingly or unknowingly they’ve given incorrect information and then, when it came to making a claim, it gave the insurer a reason not to pay out.
“We always advise that when you are going for a quotation, provide as much correct information as possible so we can provide a quote that provides you with a perfect match to your circumstances and needs. Unfortunately incorrect information and occasional declined claims are part and parcel of the insurance industry.”
How can people be sure their flood damage insurance will protect them?
“Make sure your insurance is valid. When you get your policy document check all the terms and conditions, check your excesses, check everything with a fine-tooth comb to make sure you’ve got the flood damage insurance cover you need. If there is something you’re not sure about, raise it with your provider at the earliest opportunity so your policy document can be amended to better reflect your precise needs.”
Do you have any tips for householders living in high risk flood areas?
“If you live in a medium or high risk flood area you should be prepared for the worst. I live in a seaside town so I know many people who live close to the water and they have evacuation plans in place. All the family are aware of them, mums, dads, and children too. They know the evacuation centres and they have all the essentials, such as medication, ready if they ever need to make a hasty retreat. Flood waters can rise in a flash — they’re not called flash floods for nothing — so you have to be prepped and ready to go at the drop of a hat.”
Who or what is to blame for the rise in flooding and flood insurance claims?
“No doubt global warming is having an impact but there are also some areas affected by obsolete flood defences, poor drainage systems and inadequate drain maintenance.”
Where can I go for more information about flood damage insurance?
“You can sign up for free flood warnings with The Environmental Agency. You enter your postcode or town to find out if there are any flood warnings in your location and then register for alerts. Warnings can come through to your mobile phone, your email or your home phone.
“You can also try Adrian Flux. We look at home insurance needs on a case by case basis so if you do want your property covered by flood damage insurance, visit the website or give us a call on 01553 400399.”