Thousands of homeowners could unknowingly be living in a high flood risk area, significantly increasing their chances of unexpected and costly damage, new analysis from home insurer Policy Expert has revealed.
Of the 5,443 people surveyed, almost half (44%) did not know whether they lived in a flood risk area. This is despite the fact that an overwhelming majority (95%) stated they wouldn’t even consider buying a home if they knew it was on a floodplain. Furthermore, one in five of those surveyed stated they would consider emigrating if they knew the weather was going to continue to get worse in the UK in the future.
Despite people’s concerns, nearly one in five (19%) admitted they wouldn’t know what steps to take to protect their home if they knew it was going to be flooded, further increasing the potential scale of damage. Half of homeowners would think to clear gutters, drains and downspouts, and move electrical equipment high above ground level if a flood was imminent. Additionally 85% of people would know to seek out and place important documents upstairs. A further 84% state they would think to source a supply of sandbags and plastic sheeting to protect their home if a flood warning was issued.
Adam Powell, Head of Operations, Policy Expert commented: “Floods can have a devastating impact and are happening more often than ever, all over the country. For that reason, it is vital homeowners are aware they could be at risk and have appropriate precautions in place.
“It’s also sensible to check you have the correct level of insurance. While most standard home insurance policies cover you for flooding, nearly all insurers expect you to know if your address or your neighbours’ has flooded in the past. A good place to find this information is on the Environment Agency website: its interactive postcode search tool will allow you to see how susceptible where you live is to flood, and how severe the risk is.
“However, what’s most important is being prepared. Being vigilant and taking precautionary steps before and after a potential flood can go a long way to mitigate the long lasting and costly damage it can cause.”
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