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Flood insurance charges

(18 Posts)
Ginny42 Wed 01-Feb-17 17:58:29

Did I miss something? I knew about the devastating floods in many areas of the country of course, and indeed had two sets of friends whose homes were largely destroyed and I have a great deal of sympathy for all those affected.

However, when I received the renewal letter for my house insurance, I found an item re: in line with Government legislation from April 1st 2016, my premium includes a contribution to Flood Re of 3% of my total charges.

I have no problem with making a voluntary contribution. I feel very sorry for people whose homes have been flooded. However, I'm a pensioner and I have demands on my finances and they don't know my personal circumstances.

I recall some people interviewed had neglected to insure their properties.

Some could not get insurance because their homes were built on flood plains.

Many were insured, but lived in areas flooded where there hadn't been floods for many years and it was a total shock.

I understand all that, I really do, but am I being unreasonable to ask why? Aren't the Insurance companies making enough from those of us have have paid for years and never claimed?

Tell me I'm being mealy-mouthed and mean and I'll shut up and go away, but I just felt a bit as though I'd been mugged!

Ana Wed 01-Feb-17 18:57:48

Apparently motorists are paying around £35-£40 per year extra on their insurance premiums to subsidise claims made against uninsured drivers.

I think it's just a fact of life these days that insurance cover is more expensive so the companies don't lose out themselves...!

SueDonim Thu 02-Feb-17 00:02:32

I think the Flood Charge on my last insurance renewal was £7 for the year. I live about 20 miles from two of the badly affected areas and having seen the devastation, I'm more than happy to pay that small amount (as well as contributing to local charity requests). I know that in one of the affected areas even people with insurance had huge problems with the companies trying to wriggle out of paying anything to claimants, making a massively stressful time even worse.

This afternoon, I spent £2.55 on a latte I didn't need, so my contribution will have cost less than the price of three lattes, which to me is a small sacrifice towards helping someone on their hour of need.

ninathenana Thu 02-Feb-17 07:42:22

On a slightly different note. Yes we live near the sea but this area has never been flooded. Last time I went on a comparison web site. It was all looking as if I was going to save quiet a bit on my usual premiums until the question of living near water. This then added about £900 per year to what I was currently paying.
Just because you live near water it dosen't mean your on a level with it !!
I agree a small flood charge is acceptable but I also realise for some it's a make or break amount.

Ginny42 Thu 02-Feb-17 08:09:16

I would happily make a voluntary contribution. I support 16 different charities one way or another, all include giving money/time. I think I just got a bit miffed that the Gov decided on a charge without knowing anyone's personal circumstances. My charge worked out at almost £9.00. Many people choose not to have house insurance, so only the insured will pay.

Just received an email from friends who are back in their home after 10 months and their insurers paid for everything. I don't know whether they are now unable to get insurance having been flooded.

Anya Thu 02-Feb-17 08:32:43

Ginny I'm shocked by your post. The flood charge on my last insurance was £8, more or less the same as Sue quoted. That's £8 extra a year about 2p a day added to your insurance to help those who are unfortunate enough to live in flood zones, many of whom did not even realise they did until it happened!

If you've ever lost your possessions, including many irreplaceable ones with great sentimental value, through flood or fire or whatever, you'd know just how devastating it is.

Izabella Thu 02-Feb-17 09:36:09

Anya indeed. And many cannot even get cover.

grumppa Thu 02-Feb-17 10:22:56

The insurance industry used to provide domestic flood cover without underwriting, i.e. regardless of each property's actual risk of being flooded. But a number of things happened: underwriting got more sophisticated, more houses were built on flood plains, and flood prevention measures did not keep up with increased flooding risk. So a new agreement as reached with the government, and a figure now appears on policy schedules.

Ginny42 Fri 03-Feb-17 12:10:44

Had I been asked for a contribution I would have given a lot more than £9.00 I can assure you.

I hope the Government has taken builders to task for building on flood plains. LA's must have passed plans for those developments and if they didn't know it was land liable to flooding, someone in planning wasn't doing their job, or there report was simply ignored.

I pity the householders. I saw some in the area around York being interviewed and they had no idea their homes were built on a flood plain. Someone was remiss. I hope they've been charged.

Ginny42 Fri 03-Feb-17 12:11:26

*their job

Norah Sat 11-Feb-17 17:43:56

The Fens are mostly at sea level, had better planning been done all along this could have been avoided.

Chewbacca Sat 11-Feb-17 19:22:46

Exactly right Norah. In the village that I live in, a large estate of new houses is currently under construction. The houses are being built on green belt farm land that has a fast flowing river flowing through it. Every single year, the farmer had to move his sheep off the fields to higher ground, because the river always breaks it's banks and floods the land. The housing developer decided that this wouldn't be a problem and carried on building. Before the first house was completed, the river broke again and flooded the plots partially built and so work stopped whilst flood defences and underground tanks were installed. The people who have lived here for many years know that none of that will stop the flooding when we have very heavy rainfall but the builder knows best, apparently. I really wouldn't like to be an owner of one of those houses when the heavy rain comes. Or when I was trying to arrange house insurance.

Norah Sat 11-Feb-17 20:35:14

The flooding in Bury is terrible.

Chewbacca Sat 11-Feb-17 20:36:13

Not that far from you Norah .

boheminan Sun 12-Feb-17 00:46:14

Insurance companies seem to go by post codes. Where I live the bottom end of the street can get flooded, but where I am (at the top of a slight hill) it doesn't - but because the post code's the same, I have to pay a higher premium

janeayressister Sat 25-Feb-17 22:45:13

Well I am a flood victim. I was flooded by Flood Desmond in December 2015 and unfortunately my village was flooded again in August, 10 months later. Some of us had just returned to our newly restored homes. If you can't imagine the distress caused then I am telling you, everyone concerned, was breaking their hearts, I personally am cried out.
However, I don't think anyone should be paying for our misfortune. The Government has had one inquiry into Storm Desmond, but they also had an extensive enquiry into the floods of 2008 by Sir Michael Pitt. Did they implement his recommendations ? No they didn't. They are asking for more information from stake holders at the moment. I feel weary about more inquiries and more paper being published.

The response to Flooding by this and past and subsequent Governments is criminal. At the moment we have building going on ( as I write ) on a level three flood plain which is going to drain into our village. Attenuation measures and Flood risk assessments are a complete joke.
The only hope for me is to auction my house and get out.
We are in a David and Goliath situation constantly. The developers employ professionals to procure planning permission. The Government Planning Guidelines are so vague to be more or less useless in protecting potential flood areas. I have recently been involved in an appeal against a huge housing development that may well flood our village and I am up against professionals. Solicitors and Hydraulic Engineers versus the general public. It is hopeless.
My blood rang cold when Teresa May said that the Government was going to make it easier to obtain planning permission.
I am really sorry that you have been asked to pay extra. There are some in my village who have no insurance because despite Flood Re, they just can't afford it any more.
Our village is in a very dark place. We live in fear of rain.

MarioWaller Thu 16-Mar-17 07:11:57

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M0nica Thu 16-Mar-17 14:07:28

The reason for the flood levy was that many householders in flood prone or potentially flood prone areas were being refused insurance by companies because of the flood risk.

In the negotiations with the government they agreed to insure these people on the condition that there should be a levy of 3% on all insurance premiums to fund it. I have a lot of sympathy with janeayressister. Our village flooded badly in 2007 and slightly in 2009. Not having flooded since 1947. We are just on the edge of the flood plain, by a few feet and just missed flooding, but it was horrendous for those who were.

The problem global warming, and changes in how the flood plains operate caused by building on the flood plain and away from it, make it very difficult to predict where will flood. Building on the flood plain started in the 19th century and a significant part of our housing stock is now in danger of flooding. Often these houses are the two up, two down Victorian cottages that are so many people's first buy.

We have to accept with climate change and a growing population many people will need to live in areas that are in danger of flooding and as a society protect the members of it living in these.

Someone made the comparison with the Motorist's Insurance bureau that works in a similar way. Our family has much to be thankful to this organisation. DD was severely injured in a road accident caused by the driver of an unknown car. She has been left with a disability and the compensation paid to her helps pay for equipment and other people to do those things she can no longer do for herself. I am very happy to have some of my insurance go to offer similar assistance by those devastated by floods.