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Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Flood risk and home insurance

  • 13, Mar 2023
  • Read time: 7 mins

Flooding can be devastating for homeowners, causing extensive damage and costly repairs. In fact, insurance claims for flooding cost around £39,000 on average in 2022.*

Our data also reveals that the average volume of weather-related claims we received increased by 58% over the last 3 years.**

So, it's more important than ever to find out if your home is at risk of flooding, the types of insurance that will cover you and ways you can protect your property.

Person walking through flood water.

What is flood insurance?

Flooding cover protects your property if your home is damaged by rising water caused by heavy rainfall, for example a river bursts its banks, or when an underground water source escapes and enters your home.

What about burst pipes?

If you have a burst pipe which 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, including where you live, the type and size of your property, number of claims you’ve made in previous years and 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 challenging or prohibitively expensive to get home insurance if you live in a high-risk flood area. But since the Government launched its Flood Re scheme in 2016, which we’re part of, this has helped ensure you can get cover even if you live within a flood risk area.

However, it’s still 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 which aims to ensure that homeowners living in high-risk flood areas have access to affordable flood cover.

Before Flood Re, many insurance companies may have refused home insurance for people who were deemed too risky, 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 MORE THAN, pay into the Flood Re scheme, which 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.

Use of Flood Re happens in the background and you don’t need to do anything differently when shopping around for home insurance. However, if you live in a high-risk flood area, it’s worth checking to see 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 and typically includes the cost of repairing and replacing:

  • Personal belongings or valuables. However, some more valuable items may require separate insurance or a ‘high risk’ policy, so you should check with your provider
  • 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, so it’s important to check your policy details carefully to make sure you have the right cover for your needs. For example, some insurers include alternative or temporary accommodation if you're unable to stay in your home, but some don't, or there may be cover limits.

Other common exclusions to look out for:

  • Escape of water – if a burst pipe causes water damage inside the home, this would be covered separately and not considered flood damage
  • Damage to fences, gates and hedges

Is my property at risk of flooding?

    According to a 2019 report by the Environment Agency, around 5.2 million homes in England are at risk of flooding – that’s one in every six homes!

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

    For shorter term updates including flood warnings and rainfall levels, you can visit the Government’s check flooding service.

    To find out if a specific property has flooded before you’ll need to request this from the Environment Agency.

    Which areas in the UK experience the most flooding?

    Certain areas of the country are more at risk of flooding than others.

    According to our data, the top five areas of the UK that received the most MORE THAN flood claims over the last 10 years are:

    1. Birmingham
    2. Manchester
    3. Peterborough
    4. Nottingham
    5. Carlisle

    The 5 areas of the UK that received the least amount of MORE THAN flood claims over the last 10 years are:

    1. East Central London
    2. Hebrides
    3. Kirkwall
    4. Lerwick
    5. Durham

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

    If the worst happens and your home is flooded, contact your insurance company as soon as possible and take photographs of the damage.

    Make sure you speak to your insurer’s claims department before starting any repair work. They’ll let you know the next steps, which may include arranging specialist approved tradespeople to come and dry out and repair your property.

    Cover your home against flood damage

    When you take out home buildings and contents insurance with us you can rest assured that you'll be covered if you experience a flood. Plus, you’ll have access to our 24-hour emergency helpline for added peace of mind.


    *Average cost of flood claims that completed in 2022.

    **RSA Home Insurance claim data 2020 – 2022 compared to 2017 – 2019.

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