If you ever have to make an insurance claim for flood damage to your home, you may be in for a nasty surprise when the annual renewal notice next comes around – the premiums are almost certain to have gone up in price and your insurer might even have decided to remove cover for flood damage from your standard home insurance package.
In some cases, you may find that the excess amount (this is the first part of any successful claim that you are liable for) may increase considerably for any future flood insurance claims.
The average flood insurance cost for all home owners is, of course, determined on the basis of insurers’ assessments of the amount that has been and may need to be paid out in claims – the higher the number and value of claims, the bigger the cost of insurance premiums to cover those payouts.
If your home – the main one you live in, or a second home – is located in an area which is vulnerable to flooding, therefore, your insurer is almost certain to charge higher premiums on account of the higher risks involved.
Managing the average cost of high risk flood insurance
In order to help owners of homes in the worst-hit areas manage the cost of high risk flood insurance, the government and the insurance industry have got together in recent years to develop a scheme called Flood Re.
As the Association of British Insurers (ABI) explains, Flood Re works behind the scenes and, as a re-insurance scheme for primary insurers, helps them to offer more affordable home insurance for property located in the most vulnerable flood risk areas.
To find out whether you are likely to benefit from the backing which Flood Re gives your insurer, you need to establish whether you live in a high risk area. You may do this by visiting the Environment Agency’s website and simply entering your post code. The location also appears on a scalable map, so you may see where your own property is and the risk it faces (classified as high, medium, low or very low risk) in relation to your neighbours.
If it looks as though you qualify, you might want to contact us here at UKinsuranceNET, where we have established partnerships with a number of insurers participating in the Flood Re scheme – and in a position, therefore, to offer more competitive flood insurance quotes if you live in a high flood risk area, or have previously claimed for flood damage.
Flood Re came into effect in April 2016 and the ABI estimates that some 350,000 home owners are eventually likely to benefit from the flood premium savings made possible by the scheme.
It is worth keeping in mind that the relationship between your insurer and Flood Re is quite separate from your dealings with your insurer – these continue just as before, with Flood Re working in the background, so that you never find it necessary to have any direct dealings with them.
Thanks to Flood Re and the contacts we have established with participating insurance companies, therefore, you may still take comfort in driving down the average cost for your flood insurance, even if your property lies in an area considered to present a high risk of flooding and even if it is a holiday home or unoccupied.