Each year, thousands of people across the UK have to deal with the consequences of damage caused by flooding. If you live in a flood-risk area, it’s important to know what the effects could be on your home insurance.

Do I live in a flood risk area?

With the average cost of repairs in a flood-damaged home coming in at £50,000, it’s worth finding out if you’re one of around five million homes in an area at risk of flooding. You can do so by using the Environment Agency’s postcode search.

How can I check if I’m covered for damage caused by flooding?

The good news is that damage caused by flooding is covered under most home insurance policies, but it’s worth looking into the detail of your current policy wording or giving your provider a call to check. Your buildings insurance should cover the structure of your house; contents insurance could cover your belongings inside your home.

However, other factors could be relevant – for example, are you covered for the cost of alternative accommodation if a flood means you have to leave your home?

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Is anybody making insurance more affordable for flood-risk homes?

Last year, a scheme called Flood Re was set up to ensure that homeowners in areas susceptible to flooding could still obtain affordable buildings and contents insurance. While Flood Re can offer both homeowners and insurance providers a safety net, it isn’t an insurance provider and you can still buy your home insurance in the usual way by comparing the market

How can I prepare my home if it’s in a high-risk flood area?

It won’t amaze you to learn that the winter months carry a higher risk of flooding, so minimise the potential effects on your home well before then. Doing so could even give you something to negotiate with when you look at flood insurance as some providers may ask if you’ve taken preventative action, especially if your home has been flooded before.

You might also want to think about:

  • Write a flood plan – think about putting together a community flood plan so you know where to go and what to do before, during and after a flood. You could consider writing your own household plan too.
  • Move valuables – consider putting them in waterproof bags if a flood is imminent, and move anything you can upstairs, if possible. You could try to raise anything you can’t move off the floor – have a stash of bricks or pallets ready to do the job.

Remember, while an insurance policy can replace damaged items, precious heirlooms and old photo albums, for example, might be irreplaceable.

  • Prevent water – you could add removable barriers and temporary seals for doors, windows and air vents.
  • Fit one-way valves – think about installing these to toilets and pipes to prevent sewage backing up into the house.

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