We've seen a number of high profile floods in the UK in recent years and the devastation they wreak on those affected has become all-too familiar. But one of the unseen impacts is that those living in flood-risk areas find that they can struggle to get affordable home insurance.
To combat this, the Government is working with insurers on a not-for-profit scheme called Flood Re to improve the availability and affordability of home insurance in areas prone to flooding.
How does Flood Re work?
Flood Re is a reinsurance scheme. It works by collecting contributions from insurance companies to build a fund for flood claims.
Home insurance customers will take out policies in the normal way and in the event of a flood, claim from their insurance company. The insurance company will then be reimbursed from the Flood Re pot.
A number of leading insurers are taking part Pick & Protect home insurance is covered by Flood Re.
When does Flood Re launch?
Flood Re cover starts on 4 April 2016 and will run until 2039.
How do I know if my home is eligible for Flood Re?
If you own a home in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland that was built before 1 January 2009 and has a Council Tax band of A-H, it should be eligible for Flood Re, if it's used solely as a residential property.
Leasehold flats in blocks of four or more aren't eligible.
You can contact your insurer if you want to know more about whether your home qualifies.
Is my home likely to flood?
If you want to know whether your home is in a flood risk area, you can check the Environment Agency's Flood Map.
How to prepare for a flood
If you are aware that flooding is likely in your area, there are steps you can take to minimise damage Information on these are available from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)on GOV.UK.
You can register to receive flood warnings from the Environment Agency by phone, text or email.
What to do if your home's been flooded
Firstly, make sure that you, your family and anyone else staying with you are safe. Contact your insurance company as soon as you are able.
The British Damage Management Association leaflet for victims of flooding may prove helpful.
Image credit: Ikon Images / Alamy Stock Photo