Insurance Companies and Flood Risk: What You Need To Know

Insurance Companies and Flood Risk: What You Need To Know

There is no sign of a light at the end of the tunnel. Things are only going to get wetter, and insurance companies are ready and waiting. Around one in six properties (5.2 million households) in the UK is at risk of flooding right now, and -shockingly - one in fourteen new homes is built on floodplains (10,000 properties a year), so there is a good chance that you need to sit up and pay attention.

If you live in a flood-prone area, or in a property which has flooded in the past, insurance companies can be wary about covering you, and may charge you high premiums. There are schemes, such as FloodRe, a scheme that provides more affordable building and contents insurance to those in high risk areas, but not all properties with a flood risk will necessarily be eligible.

Obviously, it is preferable not to have to get special insurance, and certainly preferable to buy a home somewhere that is less likely to turn into a swimming pool at some point. So getting a flood risk assessment before you go ahead and buy (or even rent) a property is common sense.

If you’re dead-set on buying, despite the high risk, knowing the property and its downfalls will help you negotiate the price down. Paying less, however, is all very well, but it does mean you must be prepared to take a lower price when you come to sell (particularly as the flood risk is likely to be even worse by that time). Along with potentially higher insurance premiums, buying a flood-prone home is probably not such a good idea.

Paying for a flood risk assessment is not only a good idea before you go ahead and buy, it is also a helpful way of presenting your risk profile to an insurance company in the best possible light, and will highlight things which can be done to decrease flooding risk on the property. Being able to provide facts and figures on flood risk will help the insurers accurately calculate exactly what they should be charging you. Also, knowing what the risks are and where they come from can help you take meaningful steps to mitigate that risk, which will also go in your favour with insurers.

People often (mistakenly) think that a home is only at risk of flooding if it is near a river. This is not the case. PropScore’s Floodability Check takes into account river, coastal and surface water flooding, which can happen at locations that may surprise you. The Check will return a colour-coded rating for your property, showing how your flood insurance could be affected and explains how the result may impact you. Armed with this knowledge, you can make decisions about how to act in relation to the property, and go to insurers forearmed.

Whether you’re buying, selling or just curious about a property’s flood risk, the PropScore Floodability Check offers an easy way to find out all you need to - all in less than a minute.