Flooding: Why home insurance is more essential than ever
As you will have noticed the weather has been really awful, with widespread flooding, across the UK. This is one of many reasons why home insurance is more essential than ever.
Storm Babet claimed the lives of at least seven people.
Hundreds of people were left homeless in the wake of the storm, with around 1,250 properties in England flooded, according to the EA (Environment Agency).
Now, Storm Ciarán is heading this way (Oct 30th 2023) only a week or so after Babet wreaked havoc.
Flood warnings are in place, again, across parts of England, Scotland and Wales, and there are also amber rain warnings in Northern Ireland.
The meteorological agency suggests that households:
- Make a list of useful contact numbers, including their local council, utility providers and their insurance company
- Write down how to shut off their electricity and gas supply if needed
- Put their valuables in a safe place
- Think about what they would do to keep their pets, car and furniture safe
- Write down who they could ask for help, and think about the help they could give to more vulnerable friends and neighbours
The Communities Secretary Michael Gove and Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey announced support in England in places that have experienced exceptional localised flooding after Storm Babet.
Under measures announced:
- Flooded households in affected areas can apply for up to £500 to give cash quickly to help with immediate costs.
- Households and businesses significantly affected by recent flooding will be eligible for 100% council tax and business rates relief for at least three months.
- Small-to-medium sized businesses in affected areas will be eligible for up to £2,500 from the Business Recovery Grant to help them return quickly to business as usual.
- Eligible flood-hit property owners will be able to apply for up to £5,000 to help make their homes and businesses more resilient to future flooding via the Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme.
However, Government assistance will only go so far though and can’t be relied upon.
What we take from this is that the weather in the UK is more severe than ever, and places that are not normally areas that flood, are now suffering from water damage.
Apart from the immediate danger to life and losing items that can’t be replaced (photos, family heirlooms) home and contents insurance can help replace the general damage caused.
What could not be covered?
Buildings insurance is especially important when you have a home to protect and a mortgage to pay.
It’s often required, as a condition of the mortgage.
Contents insurance is not a requirement, but is well worth considering if you don’t have it.
However, the full extent of any damage caused by flooding may not be covered under the terms of of your current household insurance policy.
Some insurance companies might class storm damage as an act of nature, others could cover this under ‘accidental damage’.
Your insurance may not pay out for flood damage to sheds, fences and outbuildings.
It is possible that the full value of damaged goods in your house might not be matched.
The cost of other alternative accommodation, if you have had to move out of your home, might not be covered.
Also, if you live in an area with a history of flooding, you may not be able to get cover for storm water damage at all.
Flood cover is generally included in your home insurance, but we advise you to double check.
Additionally, if you are buying a property in an area that has flooded before, we urge you to get advice.
The last thing anyone wants it to cover the total price of repairing your flood damaged home.
If you don’t have home and/or contents insurance then we hope this has got you thinking.
Related: Can my partner and I get life insurance together?