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New flood insurance scheme starts Monday top tips for homeowners

Flood ReA world-first insurance scheme designed to help people who live in flood risk areas get affordable home insurance launches on Monday (April 4th) – and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is setting out its top tips for homeowners.

Flood Re is not a home insurer itself but will work behind the scenes with existing insurance companies so that people who own and live in homes that are most likely to flood can shop around more easily to find policies with affordable premiums and excesses.

A list of the insurers that will be using Flood Re from Monday is now available on the Flood Re website, with more to be added in coming months.

James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI, said:

James Dalton"It’s great to see so many insurers ready to make use of Flood Re from launch. Monday is just the start of a process and we know more providers will join them over time, bringing even more choice for people with homes at risk of flooding.

"Insurance is an essential safeguard for your home and belongings. People in flood risk areas not being able to access affordable cover was a major concern, and why the insurance industry went to great lengths to design and create this world-first solution along with Government."

Think you could benefit from Flood Re? Here are our top tips for homeowners to consider.

Don’t feel pressured to do anything in a hurry

There’s no rush to take action on April 4th. The benefits of Flood Re will develop over time so if your policy isn’t due for renewal yet, you may find an even greater choice of cover when you are ready to renew in a few months’ time.

Work out if Flood Re is relevant to you

Whether you benefit will depend on if you live in a flood risk area, 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 high flood risk area will already be aware of it, but there are also online flood risk maps available for England, Wales and Scotland, and your insurer or insurance broker will be able to tell you if your property is judged at risk.

Of the eligible households in the UK we expect, over time, around 350,000 to benefit from the effects of Flood Re, although there is no cap. That’s about 2% of eligible households.

Speak to your current insurer

It’s always worth making sure you understand what your current insurance policy covers you for and how much you’re paying for it, and you might want to ask your insurer if they can offer you more options after April 4th. Some insurers will be contacting customers directly to tell them about how Flood Re could make a difference to them.

Shop around to see what else is available

It’s a good idea to shop around for insurance products to make sure you have the policy that best suits your needs – remember not to focus purely on price but look at the cover offered as well. Over time, Flood Re should mean that people with properties at risk of flooding have a greater choice of cover as a market develops fully. Comparison websites generally suit people with standard needs so finding cover for a property with a flood risk may be best done by dealing directly with an insurer.

A list of the insurers using Flood Re has now been published on the Flood Re website.

Consider how else you can protect your home from the risk of flooding

Managing flood risk isn’t just about having the right insurance in place. If your home is in a high flood risk area there may be steps you can take to reduce the risk of water getting into your home, or to make it easier to repair if it does flood. More information on flood resistance and resilience measures is available here.

The ABI has published a new consumer guide and a background information called Flood Re Explained.

Last updated 01/07/2016