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Flood risk and insurance

Are you having problems with rising home insurance costs?

Has your insurer increased your premiums because you are considered to be at risk of flooding?

Did you know that you can challenge the flood maps provided by the Environment Agency and the insurance industry?

The maps used by the insurance industry to judge whether your property is at risk of flooding is based on a country wide assessment of flood risk. In order to map such a large area, the industry has had to use broad scale data which may be misrepresenting flood risk for your house.

The map below shows how properties on the fringe of the flood plain may be at risk of being blighted by low resolution mapping (blue area compared to the red outline).

The map above shows the difference between broad scale and site specific mapping. We successfully challenged the EA flood map for this study.

Speaking to your insurer can help. If your house is located well above any watercourse, for example on a hillside, and yet your insurer says you are still at risk of flooding, we recommend taking photographs and providing these to them. Make sure you have something in the photograph which can provide a sense of scale such as a person or car.

However, sometimes it is necessary to provide evidence beyond a few photographs and this is where we can help. We have successfully challenged the authorities flood maps on many occasions. We have the technical capability and experience to accurately assess flood risk at your property and can provide detailed calculations and accurate, site specific flood maps, to demonstrate the insurer’s maps are incorrect (if that is the case). Our past studies have resulted in our clients having reduced insurance premiums, gaining planning permission or sometimes helping them to reduce damage caused when the flood occurs.

The cost of undertaking a flood study varies greatly depending on the nature of the flood risk and whether hydraulic calculations or mapping is required. It also depends largely upon how obvious it is that your house is above the floodplain. We invite you to contact us by email with an initial enquiry with your post code and phone number and we can advise whether we think you may have a good chance of challenging the insurer’s data.

Published: 27/09/2011

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