Flood Re launches scheme for householders

Flood Re has announced a scheme to help ensure that homes are better protected against future flooding. Build Back Better is designed to make homes more resilient against incidents, supporting measures to help reduce future losses by adapting features within homes which could minimise the impact should a flood reoccur.

Participating home insurers will begin offering customers access to reimbursement costs of up to £10,000, over and above work to repair damage and loss caused by a flood. The funds will pay for the installation of flood resilience measures that will reduce the impact of future flooding with the aim of helping the UK to become more resilient to the changing climate, enabling householders to return to their homes sooner following a flood.

Examples of flood resilience measures can include raising electrical sockets and white goods away from floor level, installing self-closing air bricks and flood resistant doors and replacing flooring with waterproof tiling and grout. The reimbursement costs can also include carrying out surveys to understand the flood risk and potential mitigation.

The initial participating insurers in the scheme - which officially launches to consumers on 20 April - are: Ageas; Aviva; NFU Mutual; Lloyds Banking Group (including Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Lloyds Bank home insurance products); and LV= General Insurance.

Andy Bord, CEO, Flood Re, said: “In the UK, since 1998 we have seen six of the wettest years on record, with 5.2m homes and businesses at risk of flooding. The trajectory will only continue to worsen without urgent, collective action – there is no time to waste. It is vital we encourage and incentivise adaptation among homeowners.

“The insurance industry has an opportunity to show its innovation and responsiveness to consumer need and to make real, tangible change. But to do so, we must throw the traditional principles of insurance to one side. This means thinking of future resilience and building back better after a flood, rather than simply returning a property to how it was before.”

Jon Bird, property claims manager at NFU Mutual, added: “Four years ago, NFU Mutual was one of the first insurers to adopt flood resilience repairs, so Build Back Better is something we wholeheartedly believe in. Building back a home with resilient measures that protect against future floods provides our customers with peace of mind that if they are flooded again, they can return to their normal lives as quickly as possible. As a mutual insurer whose customers are its members, being able to now re-coup some of the costs for these repairs from Flood Re is something that benefits both us and our members.”

Owen Morris, MD Personal Lines at Aviva, said that flood mitigation measures have a vital role to play in reducing the impact that floods can have on families, homes and livelihoods: “Taking even simple steps, such as replacing traditional materials with waterproof equivalents, can make a difference and crucially, they can reduce the time it takes to dry out a property, helping customers to return to their homes much quicker.”

The UK government is also investing £5.2bn in the flood and coastal defence programme in England which it says will better protect a further 336,000 properties and reduce national flood risk by up to 11%. It has also promised to publishing a property flood resilience (PFR) roadmap at the end of the year identifying the action government and industry need to take to accelerate take-up of property flood resilience measures.

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