Monday, 01 September 2014
Classification of Flood Risk
Finding out what risk you face when it comes to flooding is just good sense, but it may also be a requirement of your flood house insurance.
Classification of flood risks
The Environment Agency (EA) website is a useful resource for achieving this, using your postcode to designate the risk to your property as either negligible, low, moderate, or significant. Being at negligible risk does not mean that you are at no risk from flooding whatsoever; only that there is no risk from the type of flooding the EA assess (currently excluding ground water and likely to always exclude surface water risk).
Low Risk will often indicate that there is a 1 in 200 per year (or less) chance of flooding taking place. This will usually apply to properties in insurance Band 1, though that is only in terms of flooding insurance. If the risk is low, it is not substantial enough to make a significant impact on the price of your premium but does not mean that you are safe from flooding. Extreme weather conditions of recent years have caused large numbers of homes that have never encountered flooding before to come up against severe flood events, so flood planning and preparation is still advisable as a minimum precaution and resilience/resistance measures should be considered if you carry out refurbishments.
Moderate Risk means the chances of a flood occurring in any given year are between 1 in 75 and 1 in 200. This is the same as flood risk insurance Band 2 or for some properties at localised risk. This will usually apply to properties in areas that have previously suffered some levels of flooding to varying degrees. Occupants in properties at moderate risk will need to have a flood plan in place, as well as giving resilience and resistance precautions some serious thought. Though you can wait until refurbishments are being carried out, it might be wiser to undertake such measures sooner rather than later if your property is closer to the 1 in 75 per year range.
Significant Risk equates to a flood risk of 1 in 75 or greater or house flood insurance Band 3 (often those that have been flooded more than once in the previous 10 years or more). Occupants of properties at significant risk should certainly have a plan in place, as well as actively looking into resistance and resilience measures to install them as soon as possible. Only by doing this will you stand the best chance of managing the potential impact to property value and flood house insurance costs. If you are concerned that your local flood defences might be inadequate, you will need to discuss them with the EA. You also have the option of joining a local or national flooding organisation such as the National Flood Forum if you would like to see more being done about flooding.
Even if you consider all of the variables, making your property as resistant or resilient as possible, you are still likely to find problems getting flood home insurance. With HomeProtect you can obtain a competitive online quote for house flood insurance, even if you are at moderate or high risk of flooding. Insurance should always be available to those who need it most.