Don't forget your home insurance – floods can strike twice in the same place

23 April 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Flooding causes £1 billion worth of damage in the UK every year, according to the Environment Agency, and that is just a normal year unlike last summer's exceptional rainfall.

Statistics from the Environment Agency show that there are currently more than 2.2 million homes situated in areas at risk of river or coastal flooding in the UK. Last summer, as many as 50,000 homes were flooded, many of which had never flooded before, highlighting the need for sufficient home insurance.

Even houses that are not directly at risk of flooding can find themselves damaged by surface water flooding when drains become unable to cope with the influx of rain water.

As a result of the damage caused by floods and the real risk they pose to people's homes and finances, the Environment Agency has recently launched a series of guides aimed at reducing the costs and damage inflicted by floods.

Although it is still early days, the Met Office's weather forecast for this summer so far is hot and wet, with the risk of incessant rain like last summer viewed as low. However, despite this low risk, flooding is still a real possibility and the guides, advising homeowners on the action to take before, during and after they have been affected, recognise this fact.

Environment Agency chief executive, Barbara Young, said: "People must be prepared for floods and know what to do if the worst happens. We strongly advise that every household in a flood risk area has their own plan of action that can be quickly put in place during a flood emergency."

As well as emergency action plans, the Environment Agency's flood guides cover longer term action such as the importance of having the correct home insurance in the first place, on top of how to deal with an insurance claim when the time comes.

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