Is my property at risk for flooding – and how will it impact my home insurance policy?

In the UK, at least one in six properties are at risk for flooding. However, a property’s flood risk isn’t static: it can change over time. Some of the factors that will impact your property’s risk, include population density in an area, industry and development, land management, and the one factor that increases risk over all: climate change. 

Before you buy a new property or take out home insurance, you can determine the area’s risk for flooding by using the following tools:

  1. Current risk. Visit this Government website link, input your postcode (or name of area, town or City) and the website will inform you if you are in a high risk area for flooding. More specifically, it will enable you to access the following information:
  • current flood warnings or alerts
  • flood risk in the next five days
  • river, sea, groundwater and rainfall levels
  1. Historic risk. Email the details of your property area (map or postcode) to [email protected] or contact your lead local flood authority, through the local council, or the Internal Drainage Board in your local area. 
  2. Future risk. Sign up for flood alerts or warnings by following this link. 

Does my home insurance cover damage from flooding?

Ensure you are up front with your insurance company if you reside in an area that is at a higher risk for flooding, such as a flood zone to ensure your claim isn’t rejected on the basis of misinformation. The flood zones are created on how likely an area is to flood. Flood zone 1 is at the lowest risk and flood zone 3 is at the highest risk for flooding. 

Most home insurance policies will cover unexpected damage, such as damage caused by a flood, even if you have revealed that you live in an area at risk for possible flooding. This higher risk factor may, however, affect your excess cost or the cost of your premium. In rare cases, insurance companies will put in an exclusion for flood damage if the risk is very high. Surewise will cover you for flood or water damage under most circumstances including Structural Damage & Repair and Partial or Full Repair/Rebuild After A Disaster such as a flooding.

Can I mitigate my own risk?

If you’ve been alerted to the risk of an upcoming flood, you can take the following precautions:

  • Use sandbags or flood gates to prevent the water entering your home.
  • Turn off gas and electricity to reduce the risk of fire and further damage.
  • Put valuable items high up and covered in plastic.
  • Cover drains to prevent backflow into the house.
  • Ensure your own safety first.

Still unsure of what information to supply during the insurance quote when we ask about your risk of flooding? Contact the following numbers for further support: 

Floodline: 0345 988 1188

Surewise call centre:  01268 200 020

References: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/960159/English_PFRA_Feb_2021_PDFA.pdf

https://www.ambiental.co.uk/flood-zones/