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What happens when your home is in an area prone to flooding?

17 June 2019  |  Admin

The Environment Agency say that one in six UK properties are at some risk of flooding.

The most common causes of flooding are rivers bursting their banks, coastal storm surges or flash flooding following heavy rainfall.

The UN International Panel on Climate Change predicts that the UK is very likely to have more heavy rainfall events by the end of the century. Rising sea levels will risk more storm surges and intense storms are likely to cause more flash flooding.

Where in the UK is flooding most likely?

A Moneysupermarket study found that requests for insurance quotes from people living in Hull revealed that 7.8 percent of them had had prior flooding.

In Carlisle the figure was 3.5 percent and in Lancaster 2.7 percent. Gloucester and Llandudno both came in at 1.9 percent. The national average of properties affected by flooding is 0.7 percent. Also at risk are Tewkesbury, York and parts of Cumbria, among others.

Consequences of flooding

Apart from the obvious damage to property, having a flood can increase your insurance premium by almost a fifth on average. It can even make it difficult to obtain insurance at all. This may in turn make it difficult to sell your house, as any mortgage lender will require a buyer to take out buildings insurance. If potential buyers cannot find insurance, they won’t be able to complete their mortgage.

The organisation Flood Re offers help to those who may be struggling. It is a joint initiative between government and insurers and is intended to help those who have been flooded find suitable affordable insurance.

Protecting against flooding

Although some flood events can be overwhelming, there is much that can be done to minimise damage, particularly with smaller floods.

Fit flood resistant doors and windows and block up airbricks and any other openings. Put non-return valves in drains.

Don’t put carpet in basement rooms; stick to hard flooring that has a chance of being cleaned.

Put electrical sockets higher up the wall than normal in any rooms that might be subject to flooding.

Take as many valuable items as possible upstairs out of the way of the water.

Plenty of people live happily in flood risk areas, accepting the risk and dealing with problems when they arise. Properties may be cheaper in these areas, which goes some way to compensating for higher than average insurance premiums.

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