4th March 2016
Homeowners who live in flood risk areas will benefit from a new insurance scheme, and here’s how to make sure you’re covered.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has set out its top five tips to help homeowners who live in flood risk areas get affordable home insurance, a month before a new scheme is due to launch.
Flood Re, which goes live on 4 April, is not a home insurer but will work behind the scenes with insurance companies so that homeowners in flood prone areas can shop around more easily and find policies with affordable policies.
If you think you could benefit, here’s what you need to do:
1. Find out if Flood Re is relevant for you
There are two things to consider; whether you live in a flood risk areas and how much you pay for he flooding part of your home insurance. A lot of people who live in a high flood risk area will already be aware of it but check online flood maps if you are not sure. Your insurer or insurance brokers will be able to tell you if your home is judged to be at risk.
Around 350,000 homeowners – or 2% of eligible households – are expected to benefit from Flood Re.
2. Talk to your insurer
The ABI said it is worth making sure what your current insurance policies cover and how much you are paying for it. It is worth asking your insurer if they think they will be able to offer you more options from 4 April.
3. Shop around
It is always a good idea to shop around for insurance to make sure you have the best policy for your needs. The ABI said it is not just about price but the level of cover offered as well.
It said over time Flood Re should mean people whose properties are at risk of flooding will have a greater choice of cover. Although most people use comparisons sites, these tend to suit people with conventional needs so it may be best to deal with an insurer or broker if your home is at risk of flooding.
A list of insurers using Flood Re will be published on the Flood Re website ahead of 4 April.
4. Don’t feel pressure to make a hurried decision
There is no rush to take action on 4 April. Flood Re benefits are expected to develop over time so if your policy isn’t up for renewal yet don’t worry – in fact you may have a greater choice of cover when you are ready to renew.
5. Think about extra protection for your home
Managing flood risk isn’t just about insurance, said the ABI, and homeowners can see if they can take steps in advance to prevent water getting into their home or make it easier to repair if it does flood.
Huw Evans, ABI director general, said: ‘Being flooded is devastating, not only because of the immediate damage which is caused to homes and belongings but because fully drying out, repairing and restoring a flooded property can take months or even years. It is important as many people as possible have access to home insurance so they can get the money and expertise they will need if the worst happens.’
He said insurers have worked ‘flat out’ to design and fund Flood Re ‘specifically to address the problem of high home insurance premiums’.
‘April 4th marks the start of a process which will re-energise the home insurance market in flood prone areas and help ensure as many people as possible have access to effective, affordable cover for their properties,’ said Evans.