29 April 2016

Find out how Flood Re could help you

Flood Re – a joint industry/government sponsored scheme – could offer hope to the 300,000 to 500,000 UK households at risk of flooding.

Without this scheme, affordable home insurance will become increasingly difficult to find for those living in areas at risk of flooding, according to the Association of British Insurers.

‘It’s very encouraging that the industry and Government have come together to help people who have been affected by the devastating flooding across the UK,’ says Nationwide Product Manager Darren Black. ‘Any initiative that helps more customers to protect their homes and benefit more fully from the home insurance that we offer is a great step.’

What is Flood Re?

‘Currently, people living in high risk areas, or those whose properties have already been flooded, have little chance of being taken on by another insurer,’ says Black.

‘If a flood victim has existing insurance, that provider must continue to offer it to them,’ he says. ‘What this means is that they are effectively trapped with a provider,’ he notes.

The new scheme will make home insurance more accessible to people who are struggling to insure a property at risk of flooding, or those who have already been flooded and find it difficult to switch provider.

Insurance companies will pay an annual fee to Flood Re, which will allow the scheme to take on the flood risk element of their policies. If the insurer chooses to pass on this element of the policy, they must pay an additional premium based on the customer’s council tax band.

Because the scheme is subsidised by the whole industry, the rates charged to insurers will be lower than they would normally be for a property with the highest risk of flooding.

What does Flood Re mean for customers?

  • Those who have experienced floods before will now be able to shop around for lower premiums from providers that are participating in the scheme and existing insurers may be able to offer cheaper insurance

  • People who have struggled to get home insurance for a prospective property will now be able to get quotes from multiple providers

  • It will be easier to buy and sell properties in affected areas, as buildings insurance with flood cover is required as a condition of a mortgage.

Who is eligible?

Insurers can choose whether to pass on the flood risk to the scheme. Furthermore to be eligible for Flood Re, your home must meet a number of conditions. The most important ones, says Black, are that your property must:

  • Have been built before 1 January 2009
  • Be insured by the individual owner, not a company
  • Have a domestic council tax band of A-H.

Holiday homes and tenant’s or individual’s contents may also be covered, so check the eligibility criteria to find out whether your property could benefit from Flood Re.

‘The Government’s aim is for the scheme to be widely available, with as many people as possible eligible to participate. Landlords who are just trying to insure the building, buy-to-let properties, commercial buildings and properties that were built after 2009 are the main exclusions,’ says Black.

Is there anything you need to do to ensure you benefit from Flood Re?

According to Brendan McCafferty, CEO of Flood Re, the new scheme which launched in April, has now started to accept policies from insurers. But does this mean customers will benefit if their provider is part of the scheme?

‘Policies that started prior to Flood Re coming into force will not benefit until the next renewal date,’ says Black.

“We have worked hard to make sure that Nationwide is among the first to be able to offer lower premiums to customers who have been affected by flooding, or live in a high-risk area,” he explains.

Get the flood cover you need

Nationwide customers can now benefit from Flood Re helping people living in flood risk areas to get quality home insurance at an affordable price.

Find out more about Nationwide home insurance and how it can benefit you

Nationwide home insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

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