Householders who have been flooded previously have severe trouble finding home insurance – and those who do, are paying cripplingly high premiums, a new report has found.
One in five consumers who had been flooded in the past said they had considered going without insurance because the cost of premiums was unaffordable to them, according to the “Bailed Out” investigation by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
Parts of Scotland including Aberdeenshire and Grampian suffered from flooding last winter when bad weather including Storm Frank battered the country.
CAS consumer spokesman Fraser Sutherland said: “Unless it has happened to you, you really can’t know what a nightmare it is to have your home flooded. The responses to our survey from those who have been affected are heart-breaking as they describe the utter devastation that such events bring.
“The UK government has worked with insurers to launch a new scheme – Flood Re – earlier this year, which aims to help people get affordable cover for floods.”
He added: “In publishing this report, we are calling on all Scots to ensure that their home and contents insurance policies cover them for flood damage. We are also calling on both governments and all 32 councils to co-ordinate strategies to prevent floods, and to help people recover when they do happen. And we are urging the insurance companies to raise their game and support consumers in flood-risk areas to ensure they have adequate cover.”
Government scheme Flood Re was launched in April in a bid to help householders who had suffered flooding problems find affordable cover.
Brendan McCafferty, chief executive of Flood Re, said:“We are disappointed that a CAS report has given householders in Scotland a message based on historic data. Since the launch of Flood Re we now have strong evidence that Scots can get better access to affordable flood insurance protection for their homes. Those living in flood risk areas in Scotland should be reassured that they do not face the “nightmare” of living without flood insurance.”
“Since Flood Re’s launch any one who has been flooded before or excluded from the market entirely can now get a number of quotes for more affordable insurance cover with a low excess.”
Householders also warned there is a lack of co-ordination the delivery of flood mitigation measures between public authorities and agencies.
One householder surveyed said: “The worst aspect is that substantial flood defence has been built by the council but this has had no effect on insurers.”
Another added that insurance comparison sites often appear to offer cover but when customers receive the policy, flooding and rising ground water levels are not covered.