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Flooding has become a major issue for homeowners in the UK during the last decade with climate change becoming more prevalent.
The UK experienced some of its wettest weather in a century in 2012, according to the ABI. It’s estimated up to 8,000 homes were affected by the increase of flooding.
The damage caused totalled a whopping £400 million. This comes as no surprise when figures from the Environment Agency reveal that around 5.2 million homes in England are at risk of flood from rivers and sea. The risk of flooding from extreme weather is a real worry for homeowners.
The ABI (Association of British Insurers) have launched a scheme as of 4th April (2016) called Flood Re.
It’s an initiative to help people who live in flood risk areas get affordable home insurance. This scheme is non-profit and has been agreed by the ABI and the Government.
It allows insurance companies to pass any flood risk associated with policies into a fund, and in the event of a claim, the fund will pay the flood claim.
Every home insurance provider in the UK pays into the Flood Re scheme which raises £180m every year. This levy is used to cover homes that are at risk of flooding.
It only applies to people living in a flood risk area. To find out if it applies to you and more about it, visit the Flood Re website.
Flooding is one of the worst things that can happen to your home, and there’s little you can do to stop it from happening. The responsibility lies with the local authorities to build adequate flood defences in your area.
Check the flood risk map from the Environment Agency to see if you could be affected. Regularly check for warnings and sign up for flood alerts with the Environment Agency tool. Or if you live in Scotland, you can visit the SEPA website to check if you're home is in a flood risk area.
If your home is prone to or at risk of flooding there are some measures you can put in place to help minimise the damage:
1. Doors – Installing a flood-resistant front door can dramatically reduce the chances of water entering your home.
2. Flood barriers – If flooding is imminent you can protect your doorways and windows with sand bags or barriers to reduce the risk of damage.
3. Listen out for warnings – Local authorities will typically give plenty of warnings when storms are likely to hit, giving you enough time to prepare.
4. Emergency kit – It’s always a good idea to have an emergency pack at the ready to deal with bad weather situations. Include items such as: Charged phone, torch, emergency phone numbers, matches and candles, food and water, and warm clothes.
5. Store valuables upstairs – including important documents such as passports, and insurance documents.
6. Pets – Don’t forget your furry friend during a flood or storm. Keep pets indoors in a safe space.
What counts as a flood in a home?
Your property is covered by flooding caused by an outside source, such as a river, stream, lake or tidal waters. It does not cover flooding caused by burst pipes or escape of water.
Can i get cover even if I live in a high risk area?
Thanks to the governments Flood Re scheme, getting insurance for flood risk areas is now easier than it has been in the past. The scheme was designed to ensure you get cover, and also at an affordable price.
What does flood insurance cover?
It can cover costs of drying out your home, removing debris and repairing your property following a flood. Buildings insurance will cover the structural part of your property, as well as damage to permanent fixtures caused by flooding. Contents insurance simply covers your personal belongings such as flooring, furniture and electrical items.
How do I claim for flood damage?
If your home starts to flood you'll need to contact your insurance provider immediately. They'll help you through the next steps and offer advice on how to submit a claim.