How Flood Risk Home Insurance Companies Assess Your Home

Flood risk home insurance companies will assess the likelihood of a flood taking place over a period of one year. It will also consider the damage that will be caused. Historical data of recent floods and the current water levels are also judged. The location of possible flood sources such as a river or waterway near to your home, are also reviewed and the path that the water will take during the flood has to be looked into.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency assists the Association of British Insurers (ABI) so that they can understand the risks they are taking. This information is available to all ABI members as a 'flood map' that charts floodplains, flood defences and main rivers. You can check it online at maps.environment-agency.gov.uk.

How flood insurance companies assess risk

It can be difficult for insurers to determine the risk factor associated with your house from historical information and the information provided by the Environment Agency. Sometimes an insurer will need further information from the homeowner before they will provide a quote. Normally they will need to know what flood defences are in place and whether there are any future plans for additional flood risk measures. This information is covered by an Insurance Related Request.

Insurance related requests

Some insurance companies also need an IRR letter from the Environment Agency when a renewal is due. This letter is available free of charge to the general public. If you need an IRR, visit environment-agency.gov.uk. When making an enquiry, you will need to provide your full address, a contact number and, if possible, a map. You will normally have to wait 20 days for a response.

Final word

If your home floods you could lose furniture, white goods and other possessions that are expensive to replace. Flood risk home insurance companies know the risk you are at if you live near a river, stream or waterway so you will have to pay a high premium. Being aware of the risks you are living under and the defences around you could help the insurance company assess you accurately and ultimately lower your premium.

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