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Severe flooding in South Yorkshire has this month

Fish for Specific Detail Relating to Your Flood Cover

Nov 2019

Severe flooding in South Yorkshire has this month (November 2019) generated insurance headlines for many of the wrong reasons. Many homeowners face long waits before their claims are settled[1], whilst some have had their claims declined because they were unaware they were not covered for flood-related incidents.

One such person is luxury accommodation and spa owner, Pam Webb, who has given various media interviews. The owner of a business that has successfully traded for four years, has discovered she is not covered for her significant losses[2] relating to her home, business and livelihood.

Ms Webb’s policy had a flood exclusion, despite her village of Fishwick not having flooded in the last 100 years. As her home also acted as business premises, she can receive no help from schemes established to help homeowners who suffer flooding.

Whilst a response to flooding earlier this decade led to the establishment of the Flood Re scheme, set up in 2016 to offer lower premiums and affordable cover to around 350,000 homes[3] in areas prone to flooding, commercial premises are not covered.

Similarly, homes built since 2009 are not included in the Flood Re scheme. 1.7 million[4] households are ‘ineligible’. However, many more households might be considered ‘outside the scheme’ where current insurers do not reinsure through Flood Re ie due to a low flood risk. Both commercial property owners and newer homes’ owners need to be aware that their insurance policy may well not protect them.

The distressing circumstances for many of those who are uninsured, point to the need for business owners to work with a trustworthy and professional commercial broker, when sourcing insurance protection. Insurers have access to data that identifies postcodes in which flooding is a risk and brokers should be able to talk through the inclusion or exclusion of flood risk cover, at the time of purchase. Those buying insurance would be advised to specifically ask the question, to make doubly sure they are covered.

People whose homes and businesses are housed within one property, should also approach a commercial insurance broker who can discuss property insurance options with them, finding them protection at an affordable price and working to make the excess on the policy as low as possible. Those who are covered by the Flood Re scheme have their excess capped at £250, but this is not the case with those falling outside the remit of the scheme.[5]

If the Fishlake story has left you worried about your business cover and in need of advice on insurance matters relating to flooding, please use our ‘Find a Local Broker tool’.