Insurance for flooded properties is more widely available than ever.
Homeprotect is pleased to have been one of the first UK home insurance providers to offer flood insurance as part of Flood Re. Launched on Monday, 4 April 2016, the Government-backed reinsurance scheme enables us to offer more affordable flood insurance to properties in high flood risk areas across the UK.
We met up with Flood Re's Director of Operations soon after its launch. Find out what he had to say in the video below!
In this video you’ll find out:
- What Flood Re is
- How Flood Re was set up, and how it work for you.
- How Flood Re could affect your home insurance premium – even if you’ve been flooded.
- How Homeprotect is helping new and existing customers to get a Flood Re policy.
- How to make a flood insurance claim.
Plus, we chat to Andrea, whose Keswick home was flooded in December 2015. Learn what happened to Andrea’s property, how she is still dealing with the fallout several months later, and why she thinks that Flood Re will be able to help her get back on track.
Watch the video!
We're taking a really proactive approach to Flood Re. We're making sure that all of our customers, new and returning, can take advantage of this newly available flood insurance opportunity.
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Introduction to Flood Re – Aidan Kerr, Director of Operations for Flood Re
Flood Re is a world-first organisation that is geared towards making home insurance affordable for those living at risk of flooding; and how Flood Re works is as a reinsurance company, which is an insurance company for insurance companies.
It offers insurance companies the chance to transfer the flood risk for domestic properties into Flood Re at a fixed affordable premium and excess per policy that is also affordable.
How was Flood Re set up?
So Flood Re was set up over a period of three to four years. It’s really put in place to replace an old agreement between the insurance industry and Government, which was trying to make affordable home insurance available for those that are at risk of flooding. We wanted to replace that with something that was more sustainable, that put affordable home insurance and pricing at the heart of how it operates.
And so Flood Re over the last two years has gone through a very detailed process to get legislation through Government, to get the regulations through the European parliaments, to become authorised by the regulators, and is now on the brink of going live on the fourth of April. Once it’s live, that’ll make a big difference to some three hundred to four hundred thousand properties at risk of flooding over the period of Flood Re’s operation.
How will Flood Re work?
A key element of Flood Re is that the experience for the end customer, the person buying home insurance, shouldn’t change at all. If they buy their home insurance through a comparison website, directly through an insurer, or through a broker, it shouldn’t change at all. Flood Re will happen very much behind the scenes. But how Flood Re should operate is by offering insurers the chance to transfer the risk at an affordable price in what is one of the most competitive home insurance markets in the world.
Those price effects should get felt by the consumer and so customers should, first of all, see an increase in the number of options they’ve got available for home insurance, whether they live at flood risk or not. And they should also see that those options available to them are more affordable because of Flood Re offering to take on that risk at an affordable price to insurers.
What effect does Flood Re have on the cost of someone’s home insurance?
You have to remember that Flood Re is a world-first, and so we are about to go live on the fourth of April, after which point we’ll start to see an effect on people’s home insurance. But what Flood Re’s objective is, is to provide a mechanism that allows insurers to be able to offer home insurance in areas at risk of flooding where previously they may not have done because of the risk of flooding being so high.
So the effect we want to see to customers’ pricing, and their premiums and their excesses, is that they become more available but more crucially they have more options available to them as more and more insurers offer insurance to those customers because they’re using Flood Re and the subsidised premium that Flood Re offers.
How will a customer make a claim?
One of the principles of Flood Re is that the customer experience in how they buy insurance and, crucially, in how they claim, should be unchanged so they’ll do that through the insurance company or through the broker. However they do it at the moment, that will be how they do it going forward, but with Flood Re in place the insurance company will then get that claim reimbursed from Flood Re, where they’ve transferred that risk to Flood Re.
So the main effect for customers should be that everything should be unchanged but crucially at renewal they should find they’re able to either get their renewal quote at an affordable price or have other options available to them in the wider market. Because of Flood Re’s existence their renewed home insurance should also be affordable.
Recent experience of flooding – Andrea Leivers
Can you tell us what happened to cause the flooding and when this was?
I’ve got joint ownership of a property in Keswick, in the Lake District. It’s never flooded before, in all the years, in all of living memory but unfortunately despite all the investment in flood defences, and the time, it did flood this time on the fifth of December, with the recent floods.
What impact did the flood have on your life?
It was absolutely dreadful. I had to take time off work when it first happened, emergency, to go up and start the clean-up. It took a week just to get the house cleaned, to get the furniture out and get the driers in. The house is only just drying out now so now I’m working with the insurance company to decide how best to fit it out again, to make it usable, to make it habitable again.
Since the flooding are you worried about getting the insurance you require?
Yes, I’m worried about the cost of renewing the property. I’m worried about whether or not we will get insurance and also the excess. I’ve heard some stories and tales from people in Keswick that are facing incredibly high excesses when they go to renew their property.
What are your thoughts about Flood Re?
From everything that I’ve read so far, and I’ve only just started looking into it, it looks as though it’s going to be a real lifesaver. My understanding is that it will help me get insured and that it should bring that excess down, which is a real comfort to know that.
HomeProtect and Flood Re – Alex Parker-Walklate, Head of Product at Homeprotect
How will HomeProtect be involved with Flood Re?
So we’re really excited about Flood Re. It fits perfectly within HomeProtect’s strategy, which is to provide affordable home insurance for those that have perhaps a complex need. We’ve been working hard over the last couple of months or so to make sure that we are ready to start ceding business for the fourth of April, and that’s across all of our sales channels. So it doesn’t really matter or not whether you would prefer to take a policy out over the phone or online, we’ll be ready to start ceding business on the fourth.
How do I know if I am eligible for this scheme?
There are certain eligibility criteria that Flood Re has put in place around whether or not a property is used for commercial gain, and the age of the property, but really we’ve tailored our question set so that customers don’t need to worry about these eligibility criteria. If you get a quote from us, our system will calculate whether or not you’re eligible and the quote returned will be the best possible price based on your situation.
I’m an existing HomeProtect customer, how will this benefit me?
So it doesn’t really matter whether or not you’re new business or an existing customer, if we have an opportunity to get you a cheaper price on your home insurance, we will do so. We’re taking a really proactive approach. We’ll be contacting all of our existing customers who could get a cheaper quote through ceding business to Flood Re within a month of Flood Re launching. So if we can help you with Flood Re, we will.