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Do you know your home’s flood risk?

Do you know your home’s flood risk?

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 15/05/2017
First Published: 19/06/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Over recent years many of the UK's homes have been battered by serious floods, but despite the widespread media coverage of these events and the damage left behind, it seems that few people are prepared for, or are aware of, the risks to their own home.

Unknown flood risks

A survey commissioned by the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign found that there is a distinct lack of flood planning awareness and responsibility in the UK, despite the fact that one in six homes are thought to be at risk. Those living in the North East were found to be the least likely to have researched their home's flood risk, with 88% of respondents confirming that they had never looked into it, even though areas such as Hartlepool and East Durham have been subjected to serious floods in the last two years.

Residents in the South East were also found to be suffering from a lack of awareness – a worrying finding considering that over 100 flood warnings were issued in this area in 2014. In total, 55% of those questioned living in this region said that they had never researched their flood risk, meaning that many could get a nasty surprise if water levels rise.

A large number of people were even found to overlook the flood risk when buying a new property: only 20% of respondents checked the risk before buying a property, and just 11% looked into it after the sale went through.

Thanks to this lack of awareness, the survey identified a dearth of preparation or planning in the event of a flood. Just 6% of those asked said that they had a flood plan in place and are confident about what to do, while 31% confirmed that they had no plan and would be unsure about what steps to take to protect their home if a flood occurred.

In short, for many people in UK, a flood could spell disaster. Being unaware of the risk could mean that their home insurance provider will not cover any damage, while a lack of preparation could lead to more serious damage occurring.

"It's surprising that the public are not doing their homework when it comes to protecting their homes," commented Mary Dhonau, chief executive of the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign. "With so many floods in recent times, combined with flood insurance problems, it's worrying that so few people check their flood risk before they buy. Your home is the most expensive asset you are ever likely to own, so it pays to be prepared in order to protect it."

Get wised up!

If you are currently in the dark as to your home's flood risk, it's time to get switched on!

You can buy a flood report from the Know Your Flood Risk website, which will detail your risk, or you can ask for a flood risk evaluation as part of your searches during the process of buying a property. The next most important thing is to check your home insurance to ensure that you will be covered in the event of a flood. It will also pay to make preparations and think about flood protection products – these can potentially reduce the cost of your home and contents insurance, so it is worth considering if flooding is a real likelihood.

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.