Flood Re, which goes live on April 4 2016, is not a home insurer itself but will work behind the scenes with existing insurance companies so that people who own and live in properties that are most likely to flood can shop around more easily to find policies with more affordable premiums and excesses.
The insurance watchdog, 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:
1. Work out if Flood Re is relevant to you
Whether you benefit will depend on if you live in a flood risk area, and even then it will depend on how much you pay for the 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 there are also online flood risk maps available for England, Wales and Scotland, and your insurer or insurance broker will be able to tell you if your property is judged at risk.
350,000 households expected to benefit from Flood Re
Of the eligible households in the UK the ABI expects, over time, around 350,000 to benefit from the effects of Flood Re, although there is no cap. That’s about 2 per cent of eligible households.
2. Speak to your current insurer
It’s always worth making sure you understand what your current insurance policy covers you for and how much you’re paying for it, and you might want to ask your insurer if they think they will be able to offer you more options after April 4. Some insurers will be contacting customers directly to tell them about how Flood Re could make a difference to them.
3. Shop around to see what else is available
It’s always a good idea to shop around for insurance products to make sure you have the policy that best suits your needs – remember not to focus purely on price but look at the cover offered as well. Over time, Flood Re should mean that people with properties at risk of flooding have a greater choice of cover as a market develops fully. Comparison websites generally suit people with standard needs so finding cover for a property with a flood risk may be best done by dealing directly with an insurer or insurance broker.
A list of the insurers using Flood Re will be published on the Flood Re website ahead of April 4 and there is an online broker finding service provided by the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) here.
4. Don’t feel pressured to do anything in a hurry
There’s no rush to take action now or even on April 4. The benefits of Flood Re will develop over time so if your policy isn’t due for renewal yet, you may find an even greater choice of cover when you are ready to renew in a few months’ time.
5. Consider how else you can protect your home from flooding
Managing flood risk isn’t just about having the right insurance in place. If your home is in a high flood-risk area there may be steps you can take to reduce the risk of water getting into your home, or to make it easier to repair if it does flood. More information on flood resistance and resilience measures is available here.
Huw Evans, ABI Director General, says: “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’s 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.
“Insurers have worked flat out to design and fund Flood Re specifically to address the problem of high home insurance premiums. April 4 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.”
Picture credit: Yorkman Shutterstock
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