Flood season: Tips on how to weather the storm
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Last winter, the MET Office reported the total rainfall across the UK was 122% of the seasonal average. If this coming winter intends to follow this trend, the country could be in for another season of flooding.
Whilst floods are most prevalent in the winter months, the inherently unpredictable UK climate means they could easily strike at any time of the year. Short of building an ark, we’ve put together some advice on steps you can take to ensure you are prepared should the rainfall get severe.
Know your risk
Be aware of your surroundings.
- Are there any rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water near your home that could pose a risk to your property in heavy rainfall?
- If you live near a watercourse, are you aware of any responsibility you have for maintaining it?
- Are you aware of any history of flooding at your home or in the nearby area?
Remember, even if you don’t live near water, you could still be at risk of flooding from surface run off or groundwater.
You can request a report on the flood history of a property from the Environment Agency. Details of how to request your report can be found on the government website here https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk
If you’d just like to establish the long term risk of flooding to your home, the government also provide a useful search tool to assess the level of flood risk in your area. You can check your level of flood risk on the government website here https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/long-term-flood-risk
You can also check for current flood warnings at any time here https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings or, if you are in a high risk area, you can sign up to receive flood alerts here https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings
This knowledge is vital to allow you to properly prepare yourself and your home should the worst happen. When obtaining an insurance quote for your property, this is also important information to pass on – particularly if your home or local area has flooded in the past. The more detail you can provide, the better.
Check your insurance policy
Once you’re properly informed on your home’s flood history, it’s a good time to check your insurance policy reflects this.
Firstly, check your policy documents to ensure any history of flooding to the property or the area is noted, along with any nearby bodies of water. This information can affect the cover insurers are able to offer you, so it’s important this is disclosed.
Next, check your policy includes cover for flood and if there is any specific excess applying. If your insurer determines you are a high flood risk, you may find they impose a higher excess or exclude cover for flooding altogether.
If you’re struggling to find favourable terms due to your property’s flood risk, shop around, or approach a broker to help, to find an insurer who is able to provide policies under a recently introduced government scheme called Flood RE.
Consider Flood RE
Unfortunately, many homeowners struggle to insure their properties due to a high risk of flooding – either paying extortionate premiums or having to accept policies without cover for the very thing most likely to happen.
After recognising this, the government introduced the Flood RE scheme; a central source of funding to be used to pay flood claims. As a result, insurers who use the scheme can provide flood cover for people they otherwise could not.
If you are concerned about insuring your home against flooding, using a broker like Lumley is the best port of call. We can advise on the information you may need to provide, and have access to several providers who are able to accommodate properties in higher risk flood areas.
Struggling to find the right insurance for your home and looking for advice? Contact a member of our team on 01285 885885 or leave us a message using the form below.