Some homes and businesses in Surrey are located in areas at risk of flooding and/or have experienced flooding in the past.
The likelihood of a flood event happening can affect insurance premiums and, in some cases, impact on the ability to get insurance.
The Statement of Principles
To address what is a national problem the Government has agreed a Statement of Principles with the insurance industry. It obliges insurance companies to offer flood cover as part of standard policies in almost all cases. The Statement of Principles was agreed in 2008, but is due to end in 2013.
The Government is committed to working with the insurance industry and is currently working on an approach for the provision of flood insurance in the UK, under the working title of "Flood Re"
As it is expected that "Flood Re" may not come into operation until 2015, insurers have agreed to continue to abide by the current Statement of Principles until then.
What can you do if you are struggling to get insurance?
Being aware and taking action to reduce the risk of flooding to your property may help to reduce your insurance premiums. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced a fact sheet called Flood Resilient Homes. This includes information on what householders and businesses can do to reduce water damage.
The Environment Agency has produced a detailed flooding information sheet, written in partnership with the ABI. The information sheet includes a range of information on flood risk and insurance, including how the Environment Agency works with the ABI to ensure the vast majority of homes and businesses in flood risk areas are insured.
The Environment Agency flood maps allow you to find out what the likelihood of flooding is in your area from main rivers. Insurance companies have access to this information.
The ABI has also produced a leaflet on what to expect from your home insurer. This leaflet includes information on how your insurance company should respond in an emergency situation.
The National Flood Forum offers advice about obtaining insurance for flood cover and handling claims. It has also developed a Charter for Flood Friendly Insurance, which aims to restore customer confidence by promoting companies that demonstrate a "fresh" approach to flooded householders. For advice on flood cover contact the National Flood Forum on 01299 403055.