Could Flood Performance Certificates drive the uptake of Property Flood Resilience?
Flood Re, the joint Government and insurer flood reinsurance scheme has made home flood insurance more affordable for thousands of high-risk properties. The scheme wasn’t set up to provide more affordable premiums indefinitely though, and Flood Re has a long-term statutory objective to ‘support the UK’s household insurance market to a situation where risk-reflective pricing for properties at risk of flooding is used by 2039’. But as more housing is built and the impacts of climate change also increase, will properties which are currently at risk of flooding, be at even greater risk in 20 or 30 years? And, if this is the case, will risk-reflective insurance premiums end up higher than they are now, when the benefits of Flood Re are taken away?
Home flood insurance premiums are higher for properties with a higher risk of flooding due to the associated costs of cleaning, drying out and repairing the potential damages caused by floodwater.
So how will the more affordable home flood insurance premiums currently available through Flood Re be achievable when the scheme ends in 2039?
How do you get those at risk to ‘accept’ flood risk and the idea of resilience and property flood resilience (PFR)?
Why not fund any suggested measures now before any flooding occurs? This could be through government grants or through Flood Re funding perhaps?
Flood Re ‘wants to work with insurers to “build back better” homes after a flood. It therefore proposes changes to the Scheme that would permit the payment of claims to include an additional amount for resilient or resistant repair, above and beyond the original damage’.
With the uptake of PFR for properties currently low, how could this be changed and householders be encouraged to better protect their properties?
A driver which is currently being discussed is the introduction of ‘Flood Performance Certificates’ (FPCs), which would lay out the flood risk and suggest appropriate mitigation measures for properties at high risk of flooding. FPCs would:
- provide potential buyers with flood risk information for the property.
- document which measures or adaptations are currently installed on the property; and
- suggest PFR measures or adaptations.
The information would then be used to give the property a PFR rating.
But why wait until properties flood? Should the money in the Flood Re scheme be used to install PFR now?
This would not only increase resilience but save money in the long-term. Plus, future buyers of ‘at risk’ properties would surely be more comfortable about the idea of buying a property which could be at risk of flooding if there was an FPC in place and PFR measures already installed.
Image from The Environment Agency.