Bid to help flood-risk homes with affordable insurance

People in Peebles try to limit the damage after the Tweed burst its banks at the end of last year. Picture: Getty

People in Peebles try to limit the damage after the Tweed burst its banks at the end of last year. Picture: Getty

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A new flood insurance scheme to help at-risk households get more affordable cover has launched.

Flood Re aims to re-energise the home insurance market for households living in flood-prone areas – and it could mean that for the first time in years, some high-risk households have a choice of providers.

The scheme works with insurance firms so people who own and live in properties that are most likely to flood can shop around more easily. It is hoped that the increased competition will help drive down premiums for those affected.

It is estimated that over time around 350,000 UK households could benefit.

So far, the firms offering policies backed by Flood Re represent over half of the home insurance market and more are expected to come on board. The list so far includes Admiral, Aviva, Churchill, Direct Line, LV= and More Than.

Brendan McCafferty, chief executive of Flood Re, said he is “delighted” that the scheme is now live.

He said: “This should make flood cover more affordable and accessible to those in high flood risk areas over time.

“Consumers should check the Flood Re website to see which insurers are signed up, speak to their current insurer and be prepared to shop around. When buying a policy they should make sure it is the best one for them, not just the cheapest.”

The scheme is funded by an annual levy on insurers. The initiative removes the flood risk element of insurance for an insurer and so keeps the cost of the policy down.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said some insurers will be contacting customers directly to tell them about how Flood Re can make a difference.

Consumers can also call their insurer to find out if they can offer new options. The ABI also said it is also a good idea to shop around, as the existence of Flood Re should, over time, mean more choice of affordable flood cover.

It also emphasised that there is no need for customers to take any action now if their policy is not due for renewal yet, and they may find an even greater choice of cover when they are ready to renew.

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