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Flood insurance and Flood RE

At GSI Insurance, we’re experts in finding flood insurance cover.

This sometimes involves what’s called the “Flood RE” scheme, though you might also see that written sometimes as “Flood-re” or variations thereof. Here we’ll explain exactly what that means.

Some history

Whether you believe it to be due to human-made or purely natural cycle environmental change, few people seriously dispute that our weather in the UK has got wetter and windier over recent decades. The result has been an increase in flooding and associated insurance claims.

For insurers, flooding claims are some of the most widespread and expensive around. The position became so bad that many insurers were struggling to see how they would continue to take such losses in future. As a result, many started to decline to offer flooding cover or if they did, the premiums were so high as to make the policies potentially unaffordable for some property owners.

This was inevitably focussed in some geographical areas rather than others, due to their vulnerability to floods from nearby rivers, reservoirs, streams and coastlines.

Flood RE

The government and a number of leading providers of home insurance formulated a scheme whereby amounts were contributed into a central scheme called “Flood RE”.

This meant that flood insurance cover could be offered to vulnerable properties at an affordable premium. Should a flood arise and large claims be received as a result, the insurance providers could obtain assistance in meeting the claims from the central funds held under Flood RE.


In many cases, we will be able to find appropriate flooding cover that does not require Flood RE support. That’s because many properties are not located in flood high-risk areas and the flooding risks they face are considered to be “standard”.

If your property is located in an area known to be high risk or has suffered extensive flooding and associated claims previously, then we may look for a source of cover that is associated with the Flood RE scheme.


In order to qualify for Flood RE protection, your property will typically need to be:

  • residential and owner-occupied;
  • built before January 2009;
  • in local council tax bands “A” to “H”;
  • located in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland (areas such as the Isle of Man and Channel Islands are excluded from the scheme).


Whatever flood insurance you have in place, dealing with a flood is always going to be traumatic.

Some property owners claim to have been unaware that they were buying property in a flood risk area. To avoid any confusion, prior to purchasing a property, you may wish to:

  • check the local and national newspapers or other media for coverage of past flooding incidents;
  • look carefully at property survey reports for indications of past flooding damage (some traces are often visible – but not always);
  • consult the environment agency;
  • simply drive around and look for streams, rivers and reservoirs near the property;
  • look carefully at coastal flood defences if you’re in a seaside location. Take advice though as it can be impossible for laypeople to accurately assess the potential risks of living close to the sea.
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