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The need for flood insurance cover on high risk homes was emphasised after it emerged a pre-election pledge to provide financial assistance to home-owners affected by floods would not be available universally.
After visiting flood hit Fishlake in Yorkshire In November last year prime minister Boris Johnson said up to £5,000 would be made available for victims. Another set of payouts of £500 for households and £2,500 for businesses was also announced.
Not all flood victims will get financial support
But last week the Guardian revealed families struggling to get back into their homes and flood-proof them for the future have discovered the money is only available to areas visited by Johnson at that time.
Anyone flooded outside the period of November 8-18 is not eligible, and the payouts are only triggered in areas where more than 25 homes were affected.
Flood risk consultant Mary Dhonau said: “A flood is a flood, people suffer exactly the same wherever they are, not more in areas which are visited by the prime minister.”
More than 2,000 homes and businesses were affected by severe flooding in England last autumn – counties hardest hit were Yorkshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and Warwickshire. Despite the devastation, four months on many have received no financial support from the government.
‘Be confident with your flood insurance cover’
Lewis Wills, household team supervisor at Adrian Flux insurance services, said this bad news for flood victims made it even more important that households were confident they had the right flood insurance cover in place.
He said: “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.”
Flood Re is available to all homeowners living in properties built before 2009 and unoccupied properties too. But it doesn’t cover commercial buildings nor the buy-to-let market. If you are a tenant, however, you can get contents flood damage insurance with Flood Re.
Check you policy’s terms, conditions and excesses
Lewis said people living in high and medium risk flood areas should make sure they are adequately covered. “To find out your claim will not be met in the event of a flood can be heart-breaking. Read the small print to ensure you have adequate flood damage cover and make sure all the information you have provided, and on which we base our quote, is correct.
“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 in doubt contact your insurance broker and go through the policy clause by clause until you are happy suitable cover is in place.
“We are specialists in flood risk insurance and we want our policies to give home-owners true peace of mind.”
Lewis added: “At 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. We are experts in the field and we are here to help.”
More advice about Flood Re and how to prepare for a flood is available here.