Our homes are likely to be the most valuable possession we will ever own; like any valuable possession it is important to make sure that your home is adequately protected should the worst happen. House insurance is the primary way in which people can protect their homes or at least the financial outlay of repairing or rebuilding it in the event of a catastrophe. However, whilst house insurance will normally cover a whole range of different circumstances it is massively important to consider specialist policy inclusions such as flood insurance if you live in an especially flood prone area.
Flooding is a huge problem in certain areas of the UK. If your house becomes uninsurable due to regular, persistent flooding this often makes it unsellable, particularly as mortgages are granted on the condition that the house will be insured. The other downside to not having insurance is that if damage does occur, you will be left to foot the bill. This is a particular problem considering that the average repair costs for a house, flooded to a level of a round two feet for just two days, is around eighteen thousand pounds.
Most insurers work with the UK’s Environment Agency to research which areas are the most prone to flooding so in many cases they will have a good idea whether your house it at risk. The Association of British Insurers have played an important part in this and have worked hard to produce a grading system for homes in the UK, this gives both consumers and insurers an idea of whether flood insurance should be included as standard or as an added premium
– Low risk properties have a chance of being flooded that is less than half a percent in any one year. This applies to the vast majority of houses within the UK and in most cases an insurer will grant flood insurance to the policy as standard.
– Moderate risk properties have a risk of being flooded between 0.5% and 1.3% in a year. Whilst it will be possible to find flood insurance fairly easily, many companies will adjust the premium or the amount of excess that will have to be paid in the event of a claim.
– High risk properties have a risk of being flooded of greater than 1.3% in any year. As a homeowner it is typical that flood insurance will be added on a case by case basis. Whilst it is usually possible to gain house insurance, premiums will often vary.
If you do find yourself in a high risk house it is possible to make a difference to your premiums by following a few different actions. Installing flood defences into your home such as door and window barriers as well as vents and service closures for the drains is a good idea to protect your house from moderate flooding and should help in bringing the cost of premiums down.