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Flood risk and home insurance

  • 8, Feb 2024
  • Read time: 9 mins

Flooding can be devastating for homeowners, causing extensive damage and costly repairs. This is why it's important to find out if your home is at risk of flooding.

This guide goes into the types of insurance that can cover you, and different ways you can protect your home.

Person walking through flood water.

What is flood insurance?

Flooding insurance provides cover if your home is damaged by rising water. This could be because of heavy rainfall, such as a river bursting its banks. Or an underground water source escapes and enters your home.

What about burst pipes?

If a burst pipe causes water damage, insurance companies consider this a leak – or escape of water.

How much does flood insurance cost?

Many factors determine the cost of home insurance.

This includes:

  • Where you live
  • The type and size of your property
  • The number of claims you’ve made in previous years
  • Whether your property has been flooded before

What if I live in a high-risk flood area?

In the past, you may have found it difficult or too expensive to get home insurance if you live in a high-risk flood area. Things have improved since the Government launched its Flood Re scheme in 2016. This scheme has helped ensure those who live within a flood risk area can still get home insurance.

However, it’s important to tell your insurance company if your property has a history of flooding.

What is Flood Re?

Flood Re is a not-for-profit initiative between the Government and insurers. It aims to ensure that anyone living in a high-risk flood area can access affordable cover.

Before Flood Re, it was harder for some people to find home insurance at a reasonable price. For example because they lived in an area prone to flooding. This left many thousands of people living in flood zones without cover.

Many insurers in the UK, including us, contribute to the Flood Re scheme. This creates a pot of money used to cover flooding claims. So, if your home floods, your insurer can claim the money they pay you from the Flood Re fund.

The good news is, you don’t need to do anything differently when shopping around for home insurance. But, if you live in a high-risk flood area, it may be worth checking if your chosen insurer is a member of the Flood Re scheme.

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood cover is typically included with most home insurance policies. Cover can vary so it’s important to check what a policy does and doesn’t include and look out for any exclusions.

Buildings insurance covers damage caused by flooding and typically includes:

  • Damaged walls, ceilings, floors, or windows
  • Damage to permanent fixtures and fittings such as a fitted kitchen
  • The cost of drying out your home
  • Fees for professional services (builders, architects, solicitors etc)

Contents insurance covers damage due to flooding. It typically includes the cost of repairing and replacing:

  • Personal belongings
  • Furniture and carpets
  • Electrical goods and equipment such as TVs, laptops/computers and fridge/freezers

What isn't covered by flood insurance?

Home and flood insurance policies tend to vary.

It’s important to check your policy to make sure you have the right cover for your needs. For example, you could need alternative accommodation if you need to evacuate.

Other common exclusions to look out for:

  • Escape of waterif a burst pipe causes damage inside the home, this isn't considered flood damage. Escape of water is covered separately
  • Damage to fences, gates and hedges

Is my property at risk of flooding?

    You can find out if your area is at risk of flooding using the Government’s long term flood risk checker.

    For regular updates in your area, you can use the Government's check for flooding service.

    Or, to find out if a particular property is at risk of flooding, you can request this from the Environment Agency.

    What to do after a flood and how to make a claim

    Firstly, contact your insurance company and take photographs of the damage.

    Make sure you speak to your insurer’s claims team before starting any repair work. They’ll let you know the next steps. This may include an approved tradesperson coming to dry out and repair your property.

    Cover your home against flood damage

    Rest assured our buildings and contents insurance includes cover for flood damage. So why not get a quote today?

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