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Flood Re - all you need to know

Getting affordable home insurance can be difficult if you live in a high-risk flood area. The higher the risk of flood damage, the higher your home insurance costs could be. 

But in 2016, the government replaced the Flood Insurance Statement of Principles with the Flood Re Scheme to encourage easy access to cheaper flood insurance. Even for those in the highest-risk areas.   

Here’s everything you need to know.

A series of sandbags packed up in front of a house door where flood water is rising

 

What is Flood Re?

Flood Re is a reinsurance scheme created in 2016. It helps homeowners in high-risk flood areas access affordable flood cover as part of their home contents and buildings insurance

The government used Flood Re to replace the Flood Insurance Statement of Principles in April 2016.  Not only does the scheme help households with the highest risk of flood damage, but it also offers advice on how to reduce this risk. 

The scheme's due to continue until 2039, running for just 25 years. After this, home insurance companies may only offer policies based on the risk to your property. 

 

How does Flood Re work?

Every insurer in the UK that offers home insurance must pay into Flood Re through a levy. This then covers the costs of the scheme. 

When you buy home insurance cover, Flood Re works alongside your insurance provider. Your provider can then give Flood Re the flood risk elements of your policy, for a fixed price.  

If you make a successful flood claim, your insurance provider should pay the claim. Flood Re can then reimburse the insurer, helping to lower your home insurance costs. 

Without Flood Re, many homeowners in high-risk flood zones wouldn’t be able to find cheap home insurance. They might not have found cover at all. This is why the government made it a not-for-profit scheme. 

 

Am I eligible for Flood Re?

If your home is in a flood-risk area and was built before 2009, you might be eligible for the Flood Re scheme.

To qualify for Flood Re:

  • Your home insurance policy must be in your name
  • Your home must have been built before 1 January 2009
  • The property must be in a council tax band
  • The property must be used for residential purposes

You might not be eligible for Flood Re if:

  • Your home was built after 1 January 2009
  • You’re a buy-to-let landlord 
  • The property is leasehold
  • The property is used for commercial purposes 
  • The home is based in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man

If you’re still unsure, you can use the Flood Re qualify tool to see if you’re eligible.

 

Flood Re help for homeowners

Many homeowners in flood zones encounter high home insurance costs. This is because their properties are high-risk. 

Flood Re gives you home insurance options at much more competitive prices. Even those with a high risk of flood damage. 

This means you should be given more options to compare policies.

Compare home insurance quotes

 

Flood Re help for tenants

If you’re renting a house in a flood-risk area, Flood Re could add extra protections your home contents insurance. 

Insurance providers that pay into the Flood Re scheme can offer contents insurance at more affordable prices due to the additional protection.  

But you should still ask your landlord if they have insurance cover as many landlord policies could help cover rehousing costs. 

 

Which home insurance providers take part in the Flood Re Scheme?

According to the Flood Re website, a large number of insurers are on the Flood Re Scheme.

As of October 2022, these include:

  • Admiral
  • Aviva Home Insurance
  • AXA 
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • British Gas
  • Churchill
  • Direct Line
  • Halifax
  • HSBC Home Insurance
  • Legal & General
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Marks & Spencer Bank
  • More Than
  • Nationwide
  • Sainsbury’s Bank
  • Swiftcover
  • Yorkshire Building Society
 

Can commercial properties benefit from Flood Re?

No, the Flood Re scheme is for residential properties only. If your business is at risk of flooding, there are other types of flood insurance to consider.

Find out if your current policy covers flood damage and discuss your options with your insurer. The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has also launched a commercial insurance scheme that may be able to help small and medium-sized businesses.

To help reduce the risk of flood damage to your business:

  • Move your stock and equipment to a higher floor or to a new location entirely
  • Turn off all utilities when the business is vacant
  • Take regular inventories
  • Take photos of the building to compare to any future damage
  • Raise electrical sockets, fuse boxes and wiring above ground level
  • Use damp-proof courses 
  • Seal your floors
  • Use raised shelves or high-rise racks
 

What is the Build Back Better initiative?

Build Back Better is a scheme that provides up to £10,000 worth of flood defences to homeowners when repairing a property after a flood.

Flood Re created the scheme to reduce the cost and impact of future floods on houses across the UK. Any grants made through this scheme could be on top of any money you get from a flood claim. 

The Build Back Better initiative includes Property Resilience Measures as part of the flood repairs. These can often include:

  • Installing self-closing air bricks
  • Raising electrical sockets from floor level
  • Replacing flooring with waterproof tiling and grout
  • Installing flood-resistant doors

The aim is to make the process of rebuilding and cleaning up after a flood easier, quicker and safer for homeowners.