Insurance Companies And Dealing With Flood Claims

22nd June 2017. By Hayley Connolly

 

National Flood Forum has recently reported that Insurance companies vary greatly in the way they handle flood victims claims.

 

The charity says that people living on the same street will all be paying completely different premiums and excesses, it is of concern that this is very much the ‘norm’ and not unusual.

 

Some home owners will not realise that some insurers are offering cheap home insurance and cheap landlord’s home insurance by removing flood protection altogether, or increasing the excess beyond what would be considered reasonable and affordable.

 

No Consistency?

 

The National Flood Forum reports, the problem of neighbours getting different flood insurance offers is widespread. Hayley Connolly of Home Shield Insurance says “if you decide to compare your insurance policy with neighbours, please ensure that you not only compare the price – but consider all of the factors which have contributed to that premium – for example – specified items, or high value contents. Landlords Home Insurance is priced differently to regular Home Insurance. The age of the policy holder and previous claims will also have an impact. It is of concern that The National Flood Forum is encouraging neighbours to think that everyone on the same street should be paying similar premiums, home insurance varies from home to home just like car insurance does”.

 

Risk Characteristics

 

Homes which look similar may have very different risks attached. For example some properties will subside while the house next door does not. Every property has different security features (key locks on the window and burglar alarms). Properties may have different materials used in the construction (brick or stone, slate or tile). Policies can be bedroom rated; some insurers assess the risk of flooding by the height above the water table, it varies greatly how insurers will assess the risk and quote. The main reason however for neighbour’s policies all having different premiums despite having similar properties usually comes down to the value of the contents, and the personal circumstances of the policy holder including previous claims.

 

“Whilst these factors all affect the premium understandably, it does not excuse insurers for increasing flood excesses without making the policy holder clear about what they will be expected to pay in the event of a claim for flooding, or removing and reducing the level of flood cover altogether! It most certainly doesn’t excuse the insurer for treating flood victims with poor customer service or delays”, says Hayley. “This is really what consumers should focus on – Am I adequately covered? Anyone who lives in a flood risk area should be aware of it, and they ought to focus on what is included in the Home Insurance policy – whether it be Landlords Home Insurance or regular Home Insurance.

 

If you have a cheap home insurance policy – and have sacrificed some quality to balance the premium – you must be prepared in the event of a claim to perhaps not be as well protected as you would like. It is essential that you take advice and understand fully what is included in your policy and what the claims procedures are – this will eliminate nasty surprises! I am worried for flood victims in the future with regards to becoming uninsurable. Premiums will become unaffordable for properties and policy holders who have made flood claims, especially in areas with postcodes in the more high risk areas”. says Hayley.

 

 

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