With all the confusion surrounding home insurance and flood cover in the UK right now, it can be difficult to be sure you are getting the best type of insurance policy (and price) for your property. The UK government is still to settle on a steady policy on how to treat home owners in flood zones when it comes to insurance. Insurers are waiting for the government to come to some agreement over their future practices, but in the mean time have had little choice but to increase insurance premiums to owners of properties they feel are at risk of flooding.
If you aren’t sure you have the right insurance, or even the best flood insurance for your home, the first option is to contact your current insurer. Hopefully they will be available to discuss any concerns and problems you might, and hopeful (again) they will show some understanding and use their experience and judgement to find you the best solution.
However, should your current insurance company not be understanding or indeed sympathetic, then it could well be time to look elsewhere. In these circumstances your next steps should be to look for specialist insurers – those who acknowledge and understand the risk of flooding and offer specialist flood insurance cover. The best way to find these types of insurers could well be through and insurance broker. Discuss your situation with a broker and ask whether they deal with such specialist flood insurance companies.
At times you might feel that the whole of the insurance industry is against you, and that, just because your home has a history of flooding, you are some kind of leper, not to be touched by any insurer. This is simply not the case: there are insurance companies out there who can offer you the right cover for your property, it’s just a case of finding them and contacting them. It is essential to find several different companies, and compare their quotes and policies.
It will also help if you are aware of the facts and issues surrounding floods in your area. This way you can understand what the insurer is going through in order to get you the right flood insurance policy. Also, it will give you the chance to put any of the insurance companies right, should they misunderstand or overlook certain factors in your request. So research the flood risks to your home. Check what the issue is that maybe the cause of flooding (for example, a nearby river bursting its banks). Find out about the background and history of floods in your location, and talk to neighbours and local organisations to get a good idea of how they have approached protection and insurance against flooding.
It might also be a good idea to be able to demonstrate to any potential insurer just how “flood ready” you are at your property. In other words, how much you have done yourself to protect your home from any potential flood damage. This might include things like installing flood protection doors, better drainage, or an anti back-fill valve on your toilet system.
If your home has already suffered from flooding, then chances are your home insurance will want to re-assess your policy. Sometimes they do this by asking you for an Insurance Related Request Letter (IRR for short) for more information about your home and the related flood risk. A typical Insurance Related Request Letter will include information about any flood defences in the area and the likelihood of floods occurring. Some insurers rely on such a letter to help them judge future home insurance policies. Having one prepared could well save time and effort when it comes to finding the best flood insurance. You can request for an IRR through the Environment Agency – it’s free for the general public. There is a charge for business and commercial use.
It might be wise to get a surveyor to carry out what is known as a “Flood Risk Mitigation Survey” – essentially a flood risk assessment of you property. This survey should not only assess the risks, but offer some insight into how you can better protect your property from flood damage.
Good to know as thankfully I do not live in an area where floods happen. However I have friends and family who do and will be passing this info onto them.
Flood insurance can sound as useful as volcano insurance to some people, but after the rains come everyone who is not insured always regrets it. Flood damage can ruin not only electronics but also flooring, walls, and so much more. It’s really important to get help when doing the repairs necessary.