Severe weather warnings seem to be the norm now, but with almost a month's rain falling in less than two days, it can only be bad news for people who have suffered because of flooding already. As bad weather continues, home owners hit by record floods in Britain have no resolution over whether they will be able to get insurance cover next year.
Last month saw the wettest June on record as torrential rain caused flooding across large areas of northern England, as well as many areas of Scotland. As rain looks set to continue through July, what does it mean for those people who are badly hit by flood damage? Some new victims of flooding have seen their premiums soar by up to five times, whilst others have been told they must pay the first £5,000 of any future claim.
The Association of British Insurers and the government held talks in 2008 with insurers agreeing to confirm to provide cover to almost all homes provided improvements to flood defences were implemented – yet it was made clear that contracts would not be renewed beyond 2012. Earlier this year the council of Mortgage Lenders said ""Most households take out insurance policies annually, so uncertainty about the availability and cost of insurance cover after June 2013 may begin to affect households in areas prone to flooding from the early summer of 2012 onwards. "Without a clear lead from the Government, it may be difficult to ensure that flooding insurance is widely available, at a reasonable cost. Uncertainty could begin to affect lenders and borrowers in the coming weeks. We are therefore keen to begin discussions with the minister and insurers to explore what can be achieved."
Speaking in the House of Commons last week, Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, reassured the flood victims that she was confident that a resolution will soon be reached. She said "We are at an advanced stage in intensive and constructive negotiations with the insurance industry on alternative arrangements for when the statement of principles expires this time next year."
The weather forecast offers little comfort with a warning that flooding may continue throughout July, as further rainfall could cause floods in areas where rivers are high and the ground already saturated following the wettest June on record.
Whilst we await the outcome from the government and The Association of British Insurers, the current insurance claims need to be dealt with. If you find yourself looking to purchase a property on a flood plain, or perhaps are already experiencing difficulties, then contact your insurers as a matter of urgency: you need professional advice and a call to Westhill Insurance Services will help you. Our professional and friendly team will listen to your concerns and guide you through the insurance maze to find the right policy to suit your property. Having your home and contents water damaged is a nightmare: with proper insurance some of the pain may be mitigated, but you still need to make sure at the start that you have everything in place from the insurance perspective. Act now – the waters seem set to keep rising.
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