Three-quarters of homeowners who've made a weather-related claim on their home insurance have done so within the last five years.
New research shows that while weather damage claims are rising, many homeowners don't know whether they live in an area that's at an increased risk of flooding.
Here, Which? explains how flood risk affects premiums and offers advice on finding the right home insurance policy.
New research by Compare the Market found that homeowners are making an increasing number of claims for weather damage, as extreme weather events in the UK become more common.
The biggest spike in claims came in 2020, a year the Met Office reported as the fifth wettest on record as Storms Ciara and Dennis hit the UK.
Damage from storms (42%) and flooding (18%) were two of the most common reasons for weather-related claims, with the average storm-related claim valued at £3,500.
Flooding is a very real concern for many UK homeowners. The British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) says one in six UK properties are at risk of flooding, and that number could be set to rise.
Compare the Market's research found that two-thirds (67%) of homeowners are worried that climate change will increase the risk of their home flooding in the future.
Despite these threats, the price comparison website found that a quarter (23%) of homeowners hadn't checked to see if they lived in an area at high risk of flooding.
You can check the flood risk in your area by using the following tools:
Compare the Market's research found that 16% of people who bought home insurance in 2021 lived within 400ft of water.
On average, homeowners in these areas paid £28 more for their home insurance, as shown in the chart below.
Most major insurers are signed up to the government's Flood Re scheme, which guarantees that homeowners living in high-risk areas will be able to secure insurance against flooding.
Despite this, some problems remain. In 2020, the government commissioned an independent report into flood insurance, which used Doncaster in South Yorkshire as a case study.
The report found that despite the Flood Re scheme, a 'small but significant' number of homeowners in the town had home insurance policies that excluded flood cover. You can find out whether your insurer is signed up on the .
If you live in a high-risk area, you might be quoted a higher price for your insurance (as above) or be required to pay a bigger excess.
In addition, some parts of your property, such as outbuildings or fences, may not be included in standard insurance policies.
It's a similar case when it comes to cover for specific types of damage. Groundwater flooding isn't included in most policies, and coverage for burst pipes varies.
For example, if a pipe bursts, damage to your home and possessions should be covered, but to get the pipe fixed you might require additional home emergency cover on your policy.
In our reviews, you can see which providers offer key extreme weather insurance, including trace and access (which covers finding the source of a leak in your property), alternative accommodation (if you need to temporarily leave your home due to flood damage), and cover for groundwater and burst pipes.
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