In recent years, a series of major floods have hit the UK and hundreds of thousands of homes are becoming harder to insure because they’re at high risk of flooding. Areas suffering repeat flooding are finding that many homeowners are being left with unaffordable premiums, with some unable to insure their homes at all, as the risk is too high.
More than 5 million homes across England are at risk of flooding and the average cost of flooding to a home is around £30,000. It doesn’t matter if you live at the top of a hill or live in a flat area that’s never flooded before, flooding can still affect you and put your home, your possessions and your life at risk.
Flooding is dangerous. Just as with fire, the damage happens very quickly and the lasting effects can be devastating. It’s important to understand the flood risks in your area and it’s even more important that you take action to reduce the risks of flood damage to your home.
Is your home at risk of flooding?
There are some recommended steps that can be taken to reduce the impact that any flooding may have on your home. Learning what to do in a flood can significantly reduce the damage to your home and its contents (by around 40%), and also reduce the risk to life.
If you live in England, you can check to see if the property concerned is at risk of flooding on the GOV website using a simple postcode search. If you do live in an area that is at risk of flooding then you can get free flood warnings sent to your mobile phone. You can also find links to flood information for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on the website.
Do you know what to do in a flood?
Knowing what to do in a flood could potentially save you thousands of pounds in damages to your property and even save your life.
If you have determined that you live in an area that is at risk of flooding, then it is essential for you to have a bag packed and ready to go in the event that you have to leave your home. Include things like clothing, spare glasses, medication, important documents such as your home insurance policy and emergency contact numbers.
There are 3 different types of flood warnings as listed below. Remember that all floods are different in severity and you should always follow advice from the emergency services and your local authority if you’re in a flood.
- Flood Alerts – Prepare a bag that includes clothes, medicines and insurance documents, have a plan for moving your pets and family and keep checking for flood warnings.
- Flood Warnings – Turn off gas, water and electricity at the property. Move your family, pets and car to safety. Move valuables upstairs or to a safe place.
- Severe Flood Warnings – Make sure that you and your family are safe. Follow all advice from emergency services and call 999 if in immediate danger.
You can find lots of helpful information on preparing for flooding on the GOV website.
Does your home insurance cover flooding?
Generally, most building insurance policies do cover flooding as standard, which will protect the main structure of your home from damage. However, you will also need to make sure that you have contents insurance that will protect your belongings from flood damage.
If you do suffer a flood, the general advice is not to throw any water-damaged property away and to keep the receipts for any emergency repairs that you need to get done.
As long as the government continues to fund flood defences in areas that are at risk of flooding then insurers are not allowed to refuse cover to properties within those areas.
Your home is probably the biggest investment that you have made in your life, for this reason, it is crucial that you have the right home insurance policy in place. If you would like a quote for home buildings or contents insurance then please contact Ashburnham Insurance FREE ON 0800 1696137 and one of our helpful staff will be able to give you an instant quote over the phone.