Insuring your flood risk property

If you live in the UK, you know that it rains… a lot. This doesn’t usually affect us too much, other than inconveniencing our plans. However, if your home is in a flood-risk area, it is definitely something that you need to consider when arranging any property insurance.

Does standard home insurance cover flooding?

You might be relieved to know that flooding is usually a standard peril included within buildings and contents insurance policies. This means that you are covered for damage to your property and belongings caused by flood water entering your home from an external source, such as high tides or burst river banks. It covers the cost of removing any debris, as well as the repair or replacement of any fixtures and fittings, electrical and plumbing systems, furniture and other belongings that were damaged in the flood. Depending on the level of cover you have you may also be covered for the costs of temporary accommodation for you, your family and pets until works are complete and you can move back in.

What isn’t covered by flood insurance?

Though standard policies do cover damage caused by flooding, there are always exclusions and caveats, so it is important to check your policies to see what they do and don’t cover before purchasing. 

Certain parts of your property, such as any outbuildings or fences, may not be covered by your policy or might have been an optional extra. Water damage caused by leaks within your property, if included at all, are often included under different sections of your policy, such as escape of water and home emergency cover. 

What is groundwater flooding?

Groundwater flooding occurs when heavy rainwater causes the rocks under the soil (known as the water table) to rise, making it difficult for drainage networks to function correctly. Only a small number of policies cover groundwater flooding, so it is worth checking the terms and conditions within your policy wording.

What about insuring a property in a high flood risk area? 

If you live in a high food risk area, or your home has flooded in the past, quotes may be declined by some insurers or cover offered may exclude flood damage and/or include an increased flood excess. However, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) launched the Flood Re Scheme in 2016 in order to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable for those most at risk.

Under the scheme, your insurance provider pays out if you make a valid claim, but can then claim back a proportion of the money from the Flood Re fund. This reduces the provider’s financial risk, so they can offer you cheaper cover.

Not everyone benefits from Flood Re. For example, homes built after 1st January 2009 and blocks of more than three residential flats are excluded from cover. If your property isn’t covered by Flood Re, you may have to pay a larger premium for an insurance policy that will cover your claim.

How to reduce the flood risk of your property

There are several different ways that you can reduce the risk of your property flooding. These measures are often known as flood resistance and flood resilience measures. Flood resistance measures are products and adaptations that are designed to stop flood water entering your property, whereas flood resilience measures are installed to reduce the damage caused if your property does flood. Not all of these measures will be suitable for your property, so it is advisable to speak to a professional. 

Flood resistance measures include:

  • Flood barriers or flood-proof doors
  • Non-return valves in drainage pipes to avoid sewage backing up into the house
  • Air brick covers

Flood resilience measures include:

  • Water-resilient paints and plasters
  • Raised electrical sockets
  • Pumping systems

Concerned about flooding?

When purchasing a new property your home buyers report will identify the risk of flooding and provide information on any historical issues.

You can check for flood warnings and the long term flood risk for your area on the government website. 

How can Nest GI help?

At Nest GI, we can assist in providing non-standard insurance policies which cover flood-risk areas and properties that have been flooded in the past. Contact us today to speak to one of our trained advisers and find a policy tailored to you and your property.

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