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Home insurance in high-risk flood areas

Home insurance in high-risk flood areas

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 effect on your home insurance could be. Read our guide to what you need to know. 

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 21 FEBRUARY 2020

Do I live in a flood-risk area?

With the average cost of repairs to a flood-damaged home coming in at £50,000, it’s worth finding out if yours is one of the 5.2 million UK homes at risk of flooding. You can do so with the Environment Agency’s postcode search.

How can I check if I’m covered for flood damage?

Most home insurance policies cover flood damage, but it’s worth checking the detail of your policy wording or calling your insurance provider if you’re concerned. Your buildings insurance should cover the structure of your home and any permanent fittings; contents insurance should cover your belongings.

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

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

Yes. After the 2015-2016 floods, which were the worst on record, the Flood Re scheme was set up to help people in flood-risk areas find affordable insurance. It doesn’t change the way you buy your insurance though – you can still buy your home insurance in the usual way by starting a quote with us.

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

You won’t be surprised to learn that the winter months carry a bigger flood risk, so take action to minimise the potential effects before then. Doing so could also give you room to negotiate with your insurance provider, as some may ask if you’ve taken preventative action or if you’ve been flooded before.

As preventative measures, you might want to:

  • install flood doors and raise electrical sockets
  • keep a stash of bricks and pallets so that, in the event of a flood, you can raise furniture off the floor
  • keep removable barriers and temporary seals for windows, doors and air vents
  • install one-way valves to toilets and pipes to prevent sewage backing up into the house
  • move valuables upstairs, or put them in waterproof bags if a flood is imminent. While an insurance policy can replace damaged items, some items, like family heirlooms and old photo albums, are irreplaceable.

You might also want to write a flood plan. Think about putting together a community flood plan so you know what to do and where to go before, during and after a flood. You could consider writing your own household plan too.  

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