Homeowners are facing average costs of £32,000 to fix flood damage as flood risk in the UK grows, says Flood Re. However, flood awareness and resilience among property owners remains stubbornly low. According to Flood Re 1 in 6 people in England are now at risk of flooding. However, many significantly underestimate their chances of being flooded with over a quarter (27%) saying they don’t think it will ever happen to them.
Those who do think floods are a risk generally assume their home insurance covers all the costs, which is usually the case. That doesn’t help mitigate the disruption to your life of course. Meanwhile many in social housing or the private rental sector rightly guess that local housing associations or the Council will have to find them alternative accommodation. Mostly, they are correct, especially those with children living in the property. In any case, many renters don’t have a spare 3K or so lying around to spend on raising their white goods plug sockets or other defences.
To boost awareness of this issue, Flood Re, the joint initiative between the UK government and the insurance industry, has launched the ‘Be Flood Smart’ campaign in partnership with the Environment Agency. The campaign encourages householders to adapt their homes with Property Flood Resilience (PFR) measures to better protect against the impact of future floods.
These measures reduce the risk of flood damage to individual homes, speed up repair work, and help people move back into their properties quicker after a flood. They can include raising electrical sockets and white goods away from floor level, installing self-closing air bricks and flood resistant doors and replacing flooring with waterproof tiling and grout. PFR limits the cost of repair work by as much as 73% for properties after a major flood.
Fact is, many homes in the last ten years have been built on areas of land which are historically prone to flooding. That’s nothing to do with climate change, it’s down to planning regulations. So those who have bought into the new home dream need to think about flood defences, especially if you can see a brook or stream running through the middle of your estate.
Andy Bord, CEO, Flood Re, commented:
“There are simple and cost-effective steps homeowners can take to protect their homes and the things they love from floods – and we want to inspire more people to do just that. That’s why we are partnering with the Environment Agency to deliver Be Flood Smart. It’s all about raising awareness of the benefits and encouraging people to adapt their own homes, to make the UK more resilient to current and future flood events, while providing vital peace of mind for those living with flood risk.
He added: “New homes need to be built with adaptation in mind and we must also continue appropriate investment into maintenance of our flood defences to ensure they are fit for purpose.”
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