Reports by the BBC on the 29th of May 2017, showed us once again the unpredictable nature of our weather and the fact that violent storms and floods are every bit a part of a very British summer.
The photographs used to illustrate the BBC’s coverage of the events at the end of May – with the summer season barely just begun – showed quite how dramatic the force of nature may be and how much damage it may cause.
A summer and winter phenomenon
The last imminent flood warnings were given only last winter, but the latest reports by the BBC go to show – only too dramatically – how storms, lightning strikes and floods occur at any time during the typically unpredictable cycle of British weather.
Whatever time of year they occur, of course, the potential for structural damage to buildings is clear and the aftermath of any flooding proves very expensive to remedy.
This begs the question of whether your property is protected by adequate flood insurance.
Difficulties getting flood insurance?
If your property has experienced storms and floods in the past or it is situated in an area deemed to be especially vulnerable to that risk, flood insurance – included as part of the buildings cover in your normal property insurance cover – might be difficult to arrange:
- in the worst case, an insurer might simply reject your application for buildings cover; or
- significantly increase the cost of your premiums for the protection; or
- impose restrictions on the cover the insurer is prepared to offer, so that the risk of flooding is specifically excluded from your policy.
The insurance industry generally has been aware of these difficulties for some customers and, in partnership with the government has developed a scheme called Flood Re to provide the extra financial backing and support needed to help those affected.
The scheme is a re-insurance scheme, allowing insurers to insure the risks they themselves take on in providing flood cover. Participating insurance companies have therefore become more confidence in providing flood cover – at a lower cost to property owners.
Flood Re works behind the scenes, with no insured customers having to have any contact at all with the providers of the scheme. Any flood claims continue to be made directly with your own insurer in the normal way – so that you are unlikely to know that Flood Re is there in the background, helping to make your flood insurance costs more affordable.
To identify participating insurers in the Flood Re scheme, though, you may need the expert advice and guidance of a specialist home insurer, such as ourselves.
Whether you are already living in your home, or intend to buy a new one, or a holiday home, you are likely to want to know the risk of storms and floods that a typically British summer – or winter – may bring.
The Environment Agency maintains a website on which you may search free of charge for areas vulnerable to flood risks, whether from rivers or the sea. Once you have entered your post code and street number, the site grades the risk to your chosen property as very low, low, medium or high.
Further reading: Protecting your home against the floods