The above question is one that has been subject to much debate up and down the country and almost every home owner wants to know the possibility that their home will flood. In previous years, UK home insurance rates have been mainly effected by the chances of your home suffering damage by subsidence (subsidence claims are usually expensive). This now seems to be on the change and with an average flood claim costing in excess of £20,000 future building insurance UK rate increases may well be driven by the chances of your property flooding. According to the Environment Agency's own figures, ( and they should know) more than 5 million people live in 2.3 million properties in England and Wales that are at risk from flooding. The Association of British Insurers who naturally are very worried about climate change and it's effects on claims has calculated that between 950,000 and 1.2 million properties have been built on floodplains.
Despite several large incidents of flooding in recent years, and a prediction from the ABI that the problem is set to grow ten-fold over this century, there is little evidence that house buyers are researching whether their potential home could be at risk. The logical place to go for flood information about your home is the governments on web site, run by the environmental agency.. this website offers a lot of useful quality information especially relating to flooding and if you input your own postcode it will provide you with flood information relating to your own home. However, the quality of this information is not fantastic and it fails on the most important count of showing the actual location of the home in relation to the areas of flooding.
A further let down to home owners is the Home Information pack. These controversial packs which must be supplied to potential purchasers of all houses of three or more bedrooms ( this is being extended) offers no information on flood risk, despite requests from various factions that vital flood information be included. You would think that any potential purchaser of a home would be more interested in then likely hood of it flooding rather than it's energy efficiency and quality of electrical appliances., ah well !
Without doubt the best quality flood information maps are kept firmly in the grasp of the insurance companies, they are not predisposed to sharing these with the general public as this information is commercially sensitive, the insurance company with the best flood map information is more likely to be able to underwrite for profit, some thing very close to the hearts of most insurance underwriters and PLC insurers under constant pressure to deliver dividends for shareholders. However, help is at hand for a very modest fee of £15.00, you can visit this website whatsmyfloodrisk.co.uk and they will give you excellent information relating to the possibility of flooding at your property. If you are considering a new home and are worried about insurance or the ability to source insurance including flood cover then this really is a very small price to pay.
Although the information is most useful, it does not supply information about past flooding incidents caused by block drains or broken water supply pipes. If your home has suffered damage from flooding in the past, you may find an insurer more sympathetic if you are able to discover the cause of the flooding, blocked drains cause by the inefficiency of the local authority to clean the streets or by a water boards lack of infrastructure maintenance may be viewed in a different light by an insurance company ( don't forget to tell them) provided the necessary remedial work has been carried out. Similarly speaking an area that has flooded because a river has broken it's banks may be treated more leniently if following the incident, better quality flood defences are introduced.