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In thinking that if you live in a house that regularly floods that it is reasonable that insurers either won't offer flood cover or have an extremely high excess?

(39 Posts)
pingu2209 Sun 02-Dec-12 18:15:42

I feel pitty for the people who have been flooded. It must be a terrible experience and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

However, insurance is meant for unforeseen events.

If you live in a house that has flooded before, especially if it has happened more than once, then a flood is no longer an unforeseen event. It is a question of when, rather than if.

It is logical business to not offer life cover for someone who has terminal cancer. It is logical business not to not pay out for theft if someone has left their windows and doors open. Why isn't it logical business for insurers to refuse flood cover for houses who are located in areas that flood?

I feel the insurers are being made out to be the big baddies, but am I being unreasonable to totally see where the insurers are coming from?

Gingerodgers Sun 02-Dec-12 18:18:38

I think your premiums rise substantially if you live in a high risk area.

healstorturepeople Sun 02-Dec-12 18:20:17

This is happening more and more regularly. When these people bought their houses they may never have flooded before. They now will be unable to sell. Who would now buy a house that has flooded? What do you suggest they do? How would they sell? I have a friend whose insurance premium is now £3800+ for flood damage and her excess is extortionate (more than £10,000). She can't sell. She can't move anywhere without selling as she can't afford to. She can't rent it out as the repairs will take forever. What is she to do? YABVU and thoughtless. There are hundreds of people affected at the moment, possibly tens of thousands. Now f' off.

whois Sun 02-Dec-12 18:20:44

YANBU

ImperialSantaKnickers Sun 02-Dec-12 18:22:08

Sadly I agree pingu, and that's speaking as someone who's been flooded and seen her premium go through the roof. To the point that we no longer have insurance now that we've paid the mortgage off.

Haven't investigated, I wonder if it's possible to insure against other risks except flood? So at least one is covered against fire etc?

pingu2209 Sun 02-Dec-12 18:23:26

Heals I do feel sorry for those who are flooded. However, it isn't for the insurer to offer cover though. As I said, like the life cover, you wouldn't expect someone who has terminal cancer to be given life cover would you?

pingu2209 Sun 02-Dec-12 18:28:23

Knickers, people who have been flooded can get theft and fire cover, but just can't get flood.

I don't feel it is the insurers to keep paying out, it is for the Government to shore up flood defences.

healstorturepeople Sun 02-Dec-12 18:30:26

I absolutely agree that the Government need to do more for flood defences. I do however think it is completely thoughtless to start this kind of thread at the moment. Have you any idea what these people are going through?

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 02-Dec-12 18:32:21

But is it fair if just live in the postcode your premium rises. In my postcode there are houses that are about 0.5m below the road which flooded in 2007. My premium has risen dramatically, but my house is 1.5m above the road which is where the water came from. It would take a tidal wave to flood my house, but yet I have the same premium.

PolterGoose Sun 02-Dec-12 18:38:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PolterGoose Sun 02-Dec-12 18:41:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cabrinha Sun 02-Dec-12 18:42:07

We have a house that flooded in 2000. We bought it knowing that, and our offer at least partly reflected that. It has a '1 in 70 year risk'. That means, an insurance company could have to pay out next week, or may collect 70 YEARS worth of premiums from us. So actually, multiply that up by all those in flood areas with varying risks - and the insurance company can still make a profit, and people can still be covered.

Higher premiums / excess - fine. A blanket no to insurance - not fine.

We ARE insured, but struggled to get cover. Also, we struggled to find an insurer that we do regular insurance at a regular price excluding flood - that's not fair.

Also, if you write off those who have flooded, you take no notice of the circumstances. Since our flood, we have specialist flood door guards, and there's also been a flood defense programme locally.

You should look at the reasons for flooding. In many areas, it's not as simply as too much rain. Village next to us flooded 3 years ago because the becks (streams) hadn't been maintained by the local council - it was drain blockages not simple volume of water.

When our house flooded in 2000, in was due to a series of factors and decisions. Downstream, years previously someone had agreed an emergency control centre in a basement. The decision was made to open a sluice gate that sent the water our way - deliberate decision to flood our village and protect buildings downstream. There was talk that if the gate had been opened in a better managed way, the flooding would have been less.

What if you buy a house then your council approves a whole lot of hard drives, and then a huge new estate opposite you, taking away vital drainage land? OK, so the insurance company isn't responsible, but the government is - and that's why I believe that they have a responsibility to work with insurers to agree some provision for many homes.

Finally... The work done on insurance after a flood can mean the outcome of another flood isn't as severe. Our house had timber floors - post the 2000 flood and insurance claim, they are now concrete.

So the same property is now at same flood risk, but different £ risk.

mercibucket Sun 02-Dec-12 18:45:55

We can either be individualistic about it or community minded. If individualistic, then we say, let buildres build where they want (already true, environment agency can say 'it's a flood plain' but that carries no weight, and builders will appeal a refusal by council, then council will have to pay builders legal costs plus their own, hence why houses are built on flood plains). Then we say, buy a house where you want. Then, get insurance if you can.
This will result in large areas becoming un-insurable and ghettoised over time

Or, we say, ok, since builders have been allowed to build in ridiculous places, since global warming and land tilt mean floods happening in new areas, since it is sad for large areas to become uninhabitable, we will share the costs and the risks, and step in to make sure all houses have flood cover.

But, yes, insurers are businesses. They are there to make money for their shareholders. They will not continue to cover houses that flood frequently unless forced to, or compensated in some way.

mercibucket Sun 02-Dec-12 18:45:55

We can either be individualistic about it or community minded. If individualistic, then we say, let buildres build where they want (already true, environment agency can say 'it's a flood plain' but that carries no weight, and builders will appeal a refusal by council, then council will have to pay builders legal costs plus their own, hence why houses are built on flood plains). Then we say, buy a house where you want. Then, get insurance if you can.
This will result in large areas becoming un-insurable and ghettoised over time

Or, we say, ok, since builders have been allowed to build in ridiculous places, since global warming and land tilt mean floods happening in new areas, since it is sad for large areas to become uninhabitable, we will share the costs and the risks, and step in to make sure all houses have flood cover.

But, yes, insurers are businesses. They are there to make money for their shareholders. They will not continue to cover houses that flood frequently unless forced to, or compensated in some way.

pingu2209 Sun 02-Dec-12 18:52:59

That is interesting Cabrinha. I guess if the flood is due to someone or some company not doing their job properly (as in the case of the streams) the insurer could also subrigate - ie pay the householder's claim but then claim/sue the company who created the situation for a flood to occur.

Heals, I think you are being precious. It is exactly because it is topical and current that I posted this thread. I did say right at the beginning it must be horrible and I really feel for all those flooded. I'm not personally attacking the flooded!

I am attacking the government for allowing a situation to arise where people are being flooded so regularly that they can't get insurance, and yet it is the insurance companies that are being blamed.

healstorturepeople Sun 02-Dec-12 18:56:14

When you have a friend or family member going through this Pingu then come back and tell me I'm being precious.

pingu2209 Sun 02-Dec-12 18:56:20

Wasn't there something in the news about every policy holder paying an additional £11 or thereabouts to cover those who flood?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 02-Dec-12 18:57:30

I think if they offer the insurance and the payments take into account the flood risk then they should pay out.

pingu2209 Sun 02-Dec-12 19:08:28

Sockreturningpixie - they do pay out if there is flood cover, the issue is that the insurance companies are beginning to refuse to offer cover for flood and/or they are setting huge premiums of £000s for flood.

So as a householder's insurance comes up for renewal, the insurer says that they will offer flood cover with a £10,000 excess or they refuse insurance.

pingu2209 Sun 02-Dec-12 19:11:48

Heals, my mother's home had subsidence. She had to move out for 9 months as it was underpinned. The insurer paid out, however, at her next renewal her cover did not include subsidence.

chicaguapa Sun 02-Dec-12 19:17:57

The insurance companies have agreed to keep premiums on properties that have experienced flooding down if the government invests in flood defences, which they haven't.

Insurance companies want to insure everyone as it's just unacceptable for people to not have access to insurance. So the alternative is for everyone's premiums to rise to cover the extra costs in insuring properties that have flooded.

Whether you agree with the course of action depends on whether you think you live in a society and you reap what you sow, or if it's every man for himself.

pingu2209 Sun 02-Dec-12 19:20:29

I would be prepared to pay an insurance levy on my household cover for a 'flood pool'. However, I would expect those who live in a house that has flooded more than once to have a high excess so that they bare some of the risk and costs too.

healstorturepeople Sun 02-Dec-12 19:25:18

Were all her photo albums lost Pingu? the rocking chair her mother had sat on to feed her when she was a child? (a much treasured family piece of furniture). Her child's pet hamster because the water came fast in the middle of the night and they were asleep and they never anticipated the flooding (nor did anyone else on their street - as it had never flooded before).

ImperialSantaKnickers Sun 02-Dec-12 19:33:26

pingu thanks, I guess our mortgage finished (hurrah!) that year, and when we saw the eye-watering renewal premium we just went OMG and decided to be super careful not to set light to the place... will look into it all.

Would not the 'flood pool' end up like the hidden charge all of who have motor insurance pay to bail out the uninsured drivers? That is not accusing people who own high-risk, high-premium properties of being like uninsured drivers btw, who are on my list of scum of the earth.

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Sun 02-Dec-12 19:33:52

I work for an insurance company, we will continue to insure a property that's flooded even once its changed hands.

But yes, price goes HIGH

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