Property News

BPF taking steps to ensure flood-risk homeowners are protected

Em Morley - April 29, 2014

The British Property Federation (BPF) is currently taking steps to ensure that all homeowners at risk of flooding are properly protected.

Rising insurance prices for many homeowners who are vulnerable to the risk of flooding have left them feeling the pinch. Worse still, landlords at risk have no guarantee that they will be covered under a new Government scheme, Flood Re, scheduled to come into place during 2015.

Initial plans from DEFRA and the Association of British Insurers indicate that the privately rented sector would not be eligible for cover under affordable building insurance. Flood Re would also exclude Band H homes, homes built after 2009 and a large percentage of leasehold properties.

There has been debate in the Commons over the eligibility of certain groups for Flood Re, with some ministers claiming that the aforementioned groups will still have access to affordable flood insurance. This said, there is evidence to suggest that some homeowners at risk of flooding have seen their insurance bills more than quadruple over recent periods. The BFP are urging affected homeowners to speak out, with fears that the costs will keep rising.

BPF taking steps to ensure flood-risk homeownwers are protected

BPF taking steps to ensure flood-risk homeowners are protected 

Questionnaire

As part of its campaign to make sure that Flood Re will be made available to all homeowners, BFP are urging all property owners affected by rising premiums to fill out an online questionnaire. The questionnaire can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SZH6DMV.

Speaking out

 Ian Fletcher, director of policy at BFP, said that the only chance of the Government changing their initial policy plans was for people to speak out: -‘We urge everyone who has seen the cost of their flood insurance rise to complete this short survey and to circulate it to those in their community who also might be at risk. We would also urge them to alert their MP as to what is going on. Data of this kind will be vital as we continue our lobbying to ensure that all homes will be included in the scheme.’[1]

Fletcher believes that the Government’s plans are not too far gone to be altered, saying, ‘‘For government and insurers to say that there is no evidence that people will face an increase in their insurance premiums is not good enough, particularly when Flood Re has yet to be implemented.’ [1] Fletcher also stated that the plans were unfair to leaseholders: – We believe it is particularly unjust that leaseholders will be excluded. Saying to people who own their own house that they can have access to affordable insurance, but to people who own their own flat that they cannot, is simply unfair.’[1]

[1] http://www.propertywire.com/news/europe/uk-home-owners-flooding-201405029077.html