Flood Re – what do I need to know?
Flood Re is a new way to help people who live in flood risk areas get affordable home insurance. It launched on April 4th 2016.
Flood Re is not a home insurer itself – instead it works behind the scenes with existing insurance companies. Flood Re helps insurers offer more affordable flood insurance to those in areas at risk of flooding. It will mean people can shop around more easily to find policies with more affordable premiums and excesses.The scheme will develop over time so people should find they have even more choice in the future.
How do I know if Flood Re is relevant to me?
Only people who live in flood risk areas will benefit from Flood Re, and even then it will depend on how much you pay for the flooding part of your home insurance.
A lot of people who live in a flood risk area will already be aware of it. If you’re not sure, your current insurer or insurance broker will be able to tell you if your property is considered at risk of flooding. There are also free online maps showing flood risk for different areas of England, Wales or Scotland. Remember to check for your risk of surface water flooding as well as your risk from rivers and the sea.
The Flood Re scheme is designed to help people who buy the buildings or contents insurance for properties which are at risk of flooding, providing they own and live in them. There is also a rule meaning you won’t be eligible if your property was built after January 1st 2009.
How do I benefit from Flood Re?
If you live in a property where there is a high risk of flooding you may be contacted by your insurer directly about the scheme. You can also call your insurer to find out if they can offer you new options.
As well as finding out what your existing insurer can offer it’s a good idea to shop around, as the existence of Flood Re should, over time, mean you have more choice of affordable flood cover, even if you are at high flood risk. Comparison websites may not be the best way to do this if your home is at flood risk. These sites generally suit people with standard needs and insuring a property at flood risk may be best done by dealing directly with an insurer or insurance broker so they can consider your individual circumstances.
A list of the insurers using Flood Re is regularly updated on the Flood Re website and there is an online broker finding service provided by the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).
Remember not to focus purely on the price of the premium but make sure the policy gives you the cover that suits you best. You should take into account how much excess you would be prepared to pay (that’s the amount of any claim that you have to cover yourself) and whether you want to have additional protection against problems such as accidental damage. Remember to always answer all questions you are asked honestly.
Why is Flood Re needed?
People buy home insurance to ensure they can repair or replace their property and belongings if they are damaged in events such as fires, storms and floods. There are lots of different insurers and policies to choose from and customers can shop around to find the cover that suits them best.
For people who live in places where there is a high risk of flooding it has become harder to shop around. Fully drying out, repairing and restoring a flooded home often costs between £20,000 and £45,000 so buying insurance for properties which are likely to flood a lot often costs more and people who live in these properties don’t have as much choice.
To help improve this situation and make home insurance accessible to as many people as possible, the insurance sector set up Flood Re along with the Government. It is the first scheme of its kind in the world.
How many people will use Flood Re?
Of the eligible households in the UK, we expect around 350,000 to benefit from the effects of Flood Re over time. That’s 2% of eligible households. People won’t be dealing with Flood Re directly, they’ll still be buying their insurance as usual. Insurers will be well prepared to deal with customer enquiries.
There is more detail on how Flood Re was designed and operates on our background page, Flood Re explained.