Counting the Cost of Flooding

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Home owners who have suffered from the flooding this winter are being reassured that their properties will still be insurable – but they are likely to face increased premiums.

There is an agreement in place that means insurers are obliged to offer flood insurance to their existing customers, and this has been commented on by the Association of British Insurers

“Insurers will do everything they can to help customers recover from flooding and ensure flood insurance remains widely available,” said a spokesman for the association. “They will continue to offer flood cover to their customers at renewal, but the price charged will have to reflect the risk.”

Households around the country are again braced for more bad weather coming their way as forecasters are expecting the heavy rain and strong winds to continue. This follows weeks of bad weather which has caused damage to many properties around the UK and seen thousands of calls made to insurer’s claims departments.

The cost of claims is rising and insurers have issued advice to home owners for prevention measures which could help reduce the cost of these claims therefore keeping down the cost of home insurance premiums.

One step is to move electrical sockets above the likely water line. David Williams, AXA’s claims director, said: “We see homes which are flooded each year, and every time the downstairs has to be completely rewired. This can be avoided by positioning all electrics above the flood line.”

Another idea is to fit non-returnable valves on your drains. These can cost between a few hundred and a few thousand pounds. Malcolm Tarling of the Association of British Insurers said: “Drains can be a major problem, with much flooding caused by sewage surging back up. This can be the most distressing form of water infiltration. If it is possible to fit any kind of valve to prevent sewage surges, it is money well spent.”

There are also practical steps you can take when warning are issued that water could be heading your way.
You should store any electrical and valuable and precious items upstairs including furniture, works of art, paintings. Turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies at the mains. Protect your property from flooding by purchasing air brick covers, door guards, and sand bags.