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Insurance for properties at risk of flooding

Insurance for properties at risk of flooding

This page provides information on:

  • How to check your flood risk
  • Options for getting insurance or reducing your premium if you are at flood risk

Check if your property is at risk

EA check your flood risk tool

The Environment Agency provides a tool to check your risk of flooding from different sources. You can use this tool to find out the Environment Agency's view of the likelihood of flooding from:

  • rivers
  • the sea
  • surface water
  • reservoirs

Check your flood risk using the EA's tool

You can also get this information from the Environment Agency's 24 hour Floodline service. Contact 0345 988 1188 or email

There are several things to be aware of when using this tool:

  • The tool adds a 15m buffer around risk areas. This buffer encourages awareness of flood risk in the surrounding area. Even if your own home is not affected, it is important to be aware and prepared of flooding in your local area.
  • The tool accounts for flood defences, although there may be a lag after new defences are built. This is because it takes some time to remodel the flood risk.
  • The information does not account for flood depth, so cannot distinguish between a ground floor and second floor flat, for example.

This tool is not intended to be used for individual properties.

Insurance Related Request (IRR)

Insurance Related Requests (IRR) provide detailed information on the specific risk to your property. The Environment Agency provides IRRs. You can request an IRR at:

How insurers evaluate flood risk

Insurance companies use several data sources when issuing insurance quotes. These include:

  • flood maps from the Environment Agency
  • other commercially developed maps purchased from the private sector
  • their own claims history

There is no blanket approach taken by the industry as a whole. The ways insurers price premiums are individual commercial decisions and it is part of a competitive market. Insurers can access the same information on flood risk, and defences as you can, on the Environment Agency’s website.

Insurers may accept additional information about an individual property’s flood risk from reliable sources. This could be an independent survey or flood risk assessment.

Home insurance for properties at flood risk

If your home is at flood risk, the Flood Re scheme could provide an option for insurance.

The Flood Re scheme

The Flood Re scheme began in April 2016. The scheme enables participating insurers to pass the flood risk element of any home insurance policy to Flood Re.

Check Flood Re's list of insurance suppliers

Flood Re also provide the Build Back Better scheme. The scheme offers up to £10,000 to install Property Flood Resilience measures when repairing your property after a flood. These measures could:

  • reduce the risk of water entering your home
  • reduce the impact of water entering your home, making it easier, quicker and safer to clean up afterwards.

These improvements could reduce the repair time to a number of days rather than months.

Find out more about Build Back Better

Options for reducing your premium

  1. Get an IRR from the Environment Agency and send it to your insurer. They may use this information to adjust your premium.
  2. Get a quote from Flood Re's list of insurance suppliers. You could then switch to this insurance provider or
  3. Use a quote from one of Flood Re's suppliers to negotiate with your current insurance provider.

Check if there is an admin fee before cancelling a policy.

Do not switch provider before you have alternate cover in place, otherwise your home will not be insured.

For further advice

Citizens Advice provide more detail on how to find a better insurance quote, change or cancel your existing policy:

Visit Citizens Advice

Use the BeFloodReady site to find out about Property Flood Resilience measures:

Visit BeFloodReady

The Environment Agency, Association of British Insurers and Flood Re have collaborated to produce a flooding information sheet. This provides more detail on:

  • how flood risk is calculated
  • what different levels of flood risk mean
  • what to do if you think the information about your property is wrong
  • how flood risk information is used by insurers
  • what you can do to reduce the risk and damage from flooding

Read the flooding information sheet

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