Flooding and fire are probably the two worse threats to a property. Because of various storm occurrences over the last few years, flooding has become a major concern of insurers and is something that needs careful consideration. As a property owner, the main issue to consider is ensuring that you have the right insurance in place.
Like so many such situations, insurers have taken a genuine concern and turned it into nonsense. They have become paid up members of the ‘flat earth society’ and measure your properties distance from a river or similar water source without any real thought to the height above the river your property actually is. As an example, in Bristol, houses along the Portway are classed as being at flood risk, in reality, much of the City Centre would have to be underwater before the waters ever reached these houses!
As a consequence of these apparently silly interpretations all too often people dismiss or ‘misapply’ their insurance application. A dangerous error! Claims for totally unrelated issues can be refused or marginalised simply because the flood risk has not been correctly assessed. So, be cautious, think carefully about how you report this part of your insurance application.
Of course, not every house is well above the risk of flooding, frequently properties are built alongside rivers or more generally on the flood plain. We manage two such properties, both having flood defence arrangements included in the planning requirements. One property takes this process seriously (possibly because it is an underground garage with high end cars!) and have annual tests of the alarms and the equipment. The other fails to take their flood defences seriously, storing the protective barriers in a basement below the water table! Again, should the worst happen the insurers would look closely at how these arrangements were enacted, and if they have not been taken seriously then they will shape the claim accordingly.
To mitigate the risk of flood consequences on a property require careful insurance submission, well-rehearsed flood risk defences where they are required and regular testing of equipment such as water or sewage sumps.
PM Property Services work closely with an experienced broker to ensure the insurance policy is correctly prescribed and carry out regular testing and servicing of equipment. All things that are easy to overlook, until the waters start rising!