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How to protect your home from flooding

Thousands of homes in the UK have been affected by flooding over the past couple of months. We offer some advice on how to protect your home from flooding and take a look at what the government are doing to help.

January 6, 2016

 

protect your home from flooding

 

The end of 2015 saw thousands of homeowners affected by the extreme weather of Storm Desmond and the subsequent floods. If you’ve been affected by the recent flooding, or are worried your home is at risk, there are steps you can take to prepare your property and help protect your home from flooding.

How do I protect my home from flooding?

Find out if you’re at risk

  • Use flood risk maps to check if you’re at risk from rivers, the sea, surface water or reservoirs
  • Email enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk to find out the flooding history of the land around your property
  • Sign up for flood warnings online or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 if you’re in an area at risk

Flood-proof your home

  • Read our guide on how to flood-proof your home – from the simplest and cheapest top tips to long-lasting investments
  • Consider asking a building surveyor, civil engineer or architect for advice on permanent flood protection measures
  • You must contact the Environment Agency if your plans will affect the flow of a river or will divert flood water to other properties
  • If you live in a riverside property, you must manage your own flood risk, maintain river beds and banks and not obstruct the water flow

Get insurance

  • Contact the National Flood Forum for advice on how to get insurance and reduce your premium or excess
  • Contact the British Insurance Brokers’ Association to find a broker that specialises in properties that are difficult to insure
  • Get evidence – an insurance company may ask you for an Insurance Related Request Letter if your property is at risk of flooding. The insurer will use the letter to decide if they’ll insure you and how much it will cost

protect your home from flooding

Will this have an impact on selling my home?

  • We would advise homeowners to be honest and declare if their property has been affected by flooding
  • When selling, try and demonstrate the preventative measures you have in place
  • Be open about insurance and premiums, as this is a big worry to new buyers
  • If your property was built before 2009, there is a cap on insurance premiums so it will stay affordable

How are the government helping?

  • There has clearly been severe underinvestment in flood prevention and defences
  • David Cameron has recently announced that £40m will be spent on repairing and reinforcing flood defences damaged by Storm Eva
  • Around £10m of the funding will be used to improve defences in York after they failed to cope during the storm

What about new homes?

  • 5 million homes are currently at risk, due to having been built on flood plains (1 in 6 homes in the UK)
  • With twice the number of new houses being built in high-risk areas than elsewhere, the government are simply storing up problems for the future
  • When buying a new home, make sure you do your research on the area and development plot

 

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