What is Flood Insurance?
Flood Insurance or ‘flood risk insurance’ is a specialist type of policy designed to cover homes in areas that are at a high risk of flooding.
In the UK, flooding normally occurs for two reasons:
- Flash flooding — Heavy rainfall or storms which cause the water level of rivers to rise past their normal levels onto land. Houses situated by riverbanks or in areas close to sea level are typically at a higher risk of flash floods.
- Surface water flooding — This type of flooding occurs when an urban drainage system is overwhelmed, causing water to flow out into streets and homes. Surface water flooding can happen even if your home isn’t near a river or the coast. While the build-up is more gradual than a flash flood, surface flooding can still cause costly damage to your house.
Historically, it was very difficult to find a reasonably priced home insurance policy if your house had previously been hit by a flood. Flood Insurance is a way that homeowners in these areas can keep their homes covered without breaking the bank thanks to Flood Re.
What is Flood Re?
Since 2016, Flood Re helps insurance providers offer more affordable flood insurance policies by topping up the extra cost with government funds on your behalf.
Under the scheme, your insurer claims back a portion of what they spend when there’s a successful claim for flood damage, which is taken from the Flood Re fund. Please note that Flood Re is not available for let properties.
At Swinton, we work with several insurers who take part in the Flood Re scheme.
What does Flood Insurance cover?
Flood Insurance covers everything that a normal Home Insurance policy would (including things like theft) but for homes deemed to be at a high risk of flooding. This includes both Buildings and Contents Insurance.
What’s covered under Buildings Insurance
- Removing debris from your property
- Repairs for water damage to walls, ceilings, floors and furnishings
- Repairs to structural damage
- Drying out your home
- Fees for services like property surveyors
What’s covered under Contents Insurance
- Furniture (lamps, sofas)
- Fridges, freezers, washing machines and other appliances
- Electricals like TVs and laptops
How to find out if you’re in a flood risk area
Not sure whether your home is in a flood risk area? You can find out whether your area is deemed to be at risk by checking the relevant website depending on where you live in the UK. You can also sign up for flood warnings in your local area.
Why choose Swinton for your Flood Insurance?
- Flood Re — Several insurers on our panel subscribe to the government-backed Flood Re scheme to make sure you get Flood Insurance at an affordable cost.
- Extensive cover — Get coverage for flood-related issues including subsidence, structural damage and replacements for damaged belongings.
- Tailor your policy — Get the ideal policy for you with several optional extras to choose from, including accidental damage and cover for personal belongings.
- Store your documents online — Our handy online insurance hub means you can view everything about your policy whenever you need to.
- Claims helpline — We’re here to answer any questions you might have via Live Chat or over the phone.
How to make a claim for home flooding
Here are some simple steps you can take to increase your chances of making a successful claim on your Flood Insurance policy.
- Contact your insurer, and have your policy documents to hand if possible.
- Make an accurate record of all the damage (if you can, take photos of every room).
- Make a list of all your damaged possessions and take photos before you throw anything away.
Once you’ve submitted your claim to your insurer, they may need to send an assessor to evaluate the damage to your home. If they deem it necessary, specialist cleaning and drying companies may need to be employed.
For more information, see our in-depth guide on making a claim for flood damage.
Flood Insurance FAQs
There are a few things we’re unable to cover as part of our Flood Insurance:
- Loss or damage to gates, hedges and fences
- Damage caused by rising groundwater levels
- The first £1,000 of each claim for loss or damage caused by subsidence or landslip due to a flood
- Flooding caused by overflowing sinks, wash basin, baths or showers due to the taps being left on
Insurers assess your flood risk level based on a variety of factors. This includes whether or not your house has been hit by flooding in the past, your area’s current flood risk level and how closely you’re situated to a river or canal.
Homes in high-risk areas are typically more expensive to insure because of the higher chance of a claim. However, the Flood Re scheme has helped to significantly reduce the jump in premiums in high-risk areas compared with low-risk areas.
If you live in England, you can get a flooding history of your property by contacting the Environment Agency. You’ll need to provide them with the following information
- Your address, including postcode (if the postcode is not known, send a map of the area
- The date range you’re interested in (or confirmation you want the full flooding history
- Your phone number
Email your request to [email protected]
If you make a claim under the Flood Re scheme, our excess for Flood Insurance is £250. If you have a voluntary excess, you’ll need to pay that on top of the standard £250.
Yes, a claim for damage caused by flooding will affect your No Claims.
How to reduce your home’s risk of flooding
- Listen for flood warnings — Flood warnings are issued by the MET office and via local news outlets. As an added precaution, you can sign up for flood warnings sent directly to your phone for free.
- Shut all windows and doors — Make sure all your windows and doors are fully closed and sealed shut where possible. Identify any faulty seals in windows and have them repaired in plenty of time.
- Block gaps that flood water could enter through — Buy sandbags in advance and use them to seal doorways. You should also block sinks and toilets to stop sewage backflow.