flood insurance

The impact of flooding and the need for better flood insurance

During the winter months we are generally bracing ourselves for wet weather, but for some the rain causes huge disruption with devastating consequences. Some homes and businesses are at greater risk and can be seriously affected due to flooding of coastal areas, rivers, and surface water.

According to the UK State of the Climate report, the UK’s climate is becoming wetter. One report suggested that climate change has increased the risk of floods in England and Wales, such as in Autumn 2000 (the wettest Autumn on record) by at least 20% and perhaps 90%.

In January 2021 The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Roundtable and the Construction Industry Research and Information Association published targeted guidance for homes and businesses to help make properties flood resilient.

What is being done?

  1. DEFRA has tasked the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management to develop training and accreditation of PFR to tradesmen to survey install and maintain individual property resilience.
  2. Continuous improvements will be implemented through data tracking of PSR performance via a new central database.
  3. A scoring system to quantify flood resilience measures is being looked into.
  4. Incentives that are being investigated by the government and PFI roundtable can benefit insurance policyholders through discounted flood and funding cover.

The inability for many businesses to still buy flood insurance is a problem that needs addressing. According to the CIRIA’S 2021 code of practice overview, 40% of businesses will not reopen after being flooded.

Brokers can access flood insurance schemes so it is important to talk to your broker if your property or business premises is in a flood area.

The devastating impact of surface water

Flood barriers have been instrumental in combating flooding around the country unfortunately there remains an issue with surface water backing up from drains and sewers that continue to flood homes and businesses. This remains an issue that needs to be resolved.

For improved drainage and sewage systems to work effectively the greater council, utility companies, and EA collaboration is required. According to the Environment Food and Rural Affairs House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report on ‘managing flood risk’ it highlighted that “current planning guidance allows developers to build houses in a flood risk area as long as there is space for flood defence measures to be installed in the future, but with no obligation on the developer to pay for future mitigation measures”.

What next?

Due to the increase in knowledge and information that is available businesses and households have more opportunities to find insurance, although this may still be limited.

Incentives have also been proposed to increase the uptake of PFR, which may mean there is hope for lower insurance premiums and funding to build back better.

Sutcliffe & Co has a highly experienced team of specialist insurance brokers to look after your insurance requirements and take the burden of insurance off your shoulders. Whether you are a homeowner or business looking for flood insurance, please contact us and we will be happy to guide you through the process and find a level of cover that meets your demands.