Flood Re is a scheme created in 2016 to allow homeowners in high-risk flood areas to access affordable home buildings and contents insurance. An estimated 350,000 UK households could benefit from the scheme.

How does Flood Re work?
How Flood Re works is that every UK insurance provider has to pay into the scheme. This creates a £180 million pot that is used to cover flooding claims. It means that when you buy your home insurance, your insurance provider can get reinsurance from Flood Re. That way, if your home floods, your insurance provider can claim the money they pay you from the Flood Re fund.
In some ways, Flood Re is no different from any other reinsurance company. It receives premiums from insurance providers and pays back their claims. But there’s one big difference. Without Flood Re, insurance providers probably would not insure people living in flood zones, leaving many people without cover. That is why the government stepped in and worked with the insurance industry to set up Flood Re as a not-for-profit scheme. As a result, many households pay far less for their home insurance than they would otherwise have to.

Am I eligible for Flood Re?
If your home is in a flood-risk area, you might have been told that you will not get insurance. However, do not give up hope – your home may be eligible for Flood Re. To qualify, the property must:
– be in a council tax band
– have been built before January 2009
– be used for residential purposes.
Also, you or your immediate family must live in the property some or all of the time. And your insurance policy must be in your name.

Who isn’t eligible for Flood Re?
Some buildings are not eligible for Flood Re – usually those used as businesses, rather than homes. Examples of buildings that would not qualify include:
– buy-to-let properties that don’t meet the above criteria
– guest houses and B&Bs that pay business rates
– housing association properties
– farm buildings
– static caravans used as holiday lets
For a quotation please don’t hesitate to contact us on 020 7691 2409.

What to do about subsidence?

We have all heard nightmare stories about subsidence. Fortunately, it is a problem that only affects a small amount of people. However, it is worth being prepared.
Putting subsidence into perspective. Subsidence is mainly a problem in areas with clay soil – notably south of an imaginary line between Bristol and Hull. The main areas affected are London and the South East, but even in this part of the country, only one in 50 houses has suffered subsidence problems over the last 30 years.
Most home insurance policies will cover the damage resulting from subsidence. You can reduce the risk to your property by knowing what to look out for and taking some simple preventative measures.

What is subsidence?
Subsidence is caused when a building’s foundations sink because the soil is unstable. Contributory factors are clay soil, vegetation that draws water from the soil, and leaking drains. ‘Heave’, on the other hand, is when the ground swells because of increased moisture, causing the foundations to rise.

What are the warning signs of subsidence?
The first obvious signs are cracks, but most houses suffer cracking, so don’t be alarmed by every crack that appears. The damage is usually cosmetic and can be repaired with grout or sealant. Many cracks result from settlement, when a building moves under its own weight in its first few years. These are usually nothing to worry about. However, watch out for small, usually diagonal cracks suddenly appearing in plasterwork around doors and windows or between different parts of the property, especially after long periods of dry weather. They are normally at least 1mm wide and are usually wider at the top than at the bottom.
If you are at all worried, contact your buildings insurer straight away. If you are in the process of buying a home and suspect subsidence, commission a Home Buyer’s Report.

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