Flood risk and household insurance in Calderdale
Some homes in Calderdale occupy areas at risk of flooding or might have experienced flooding in the past. The chance of a flood happening can affect household insurance premiums, and it could even make it harder to get insurance.
To address this nationwide problem, the Government has agreed a Statement of Principles with the insurance industry. This Statement makes it the responsibility of insurance companies to offer flood cover as part of standard policies in almost all cases. The Statement of Principles was due to end in 2013, but it has been extended until a new approach is in place.
The Government is committed to working with the insurance industry and is currently working on a new approach to the way flood insurance is provided in the UK. This approach is called the Flood Reinsurance Scheme, (known as Flood Re).
It is expected that Flood Re will come into operation during the summer of 2015. To pay for this, a new industry-backed levy would enable insurance companies to cover those households at most risk of flooding. All UK household insurers would have to pay into this pool, creating a fund that can be used to pay claims for people in high-risk homes.
This approach will help many of the households most at risk of flooding to be protected. It will do this by limiting the cost of flood insurance premiums according to Council Tax bands. This will ensure that all households will know the maximum amount they could be asked to pay for insurance. It is thought that the capped flood insurance premiums will start at £210 per year for homes in bands A and B, rising to £540 per year for homes in band G.
Only policies for domestic properties will be eligible for the Scheme (Council tax band A-G). There are some properties not covered by this new scheme, and these include properties in Council Tax band H, those built after January 1st 2009, and small-scale businesses and landlords.
Until Flood Re comes into operation, householders struggling to get affordable insurance should download a guide on ‘Obtaining flood insurance in high risk areas’ from the gov.uk site. This guide aims to provide essential information that will help you to find a suitable policy.
The National Flood Forum offers advice about getting insurance for flood cover as well as handling claims. It has also developed a Charter for Flood Friendly Insurance, which aims to restore customer confidence by promoting companies that demonstrate a ‘fresh’ approach to flooded householders.
For advice on flood cover, please contact the National Flood Forum on 01299 403055.
Calderdale Council is currently working on a flood insurance project and would be happy to discuss any of your concerns. Contact a Home Improvement Officer on 01422 392479.
You can also contact your local flood group, which brings people’s concerns to the attention of the appropriate agencies.
Flood Groups in Calderdale
Since the recent flooding in 2012, 2013 and 2015, community flood groups have been set up in Todmorden, Callis Bridge, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Luddendenfoot, Sowerby Bridge, Copley, Elland and Brighouse. The Flood Groups are run by volunteers to promote the interests of local residents, to raise awareness of flooding issues in the local community, and to work on practical flood projects like writing community flood plans and establishing local flood stores.
The groups meet regularly and their meetings are open to all members of the local community. To find out more about these groups and their forthcoming meetings, please email:
- Hebden Bridge Flood Group, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mytholmroyd Flood Group, email@example.com
- Todmorden Flood Group, firstname.lastname@example.org
Local residents can also volunteer to be on standby as flood wardens: this means being the ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground during a flood incident. This helps ensure that flood warning messages reach local communities and are acted upon.
Flood wardens also help local communities in the aftermath of flooding. If you would like to volunteer, please email your local flood group for further information.