The population growth of the United Kingdom has created a problem rarely mentioned by the media or government officials. We’re not talking about the dwindling supply of valuable resources or the increase in crime rates.
We’re talking about flood risk.
The demand for residential development on plots located on or near flood zones has produced a significant increase in flood damage. Combined with above average precipitation, residential development has made a rapidly growing number of homeowners aware of the damage caused by rising creeks, streams, and rivers.
The Costs of Flooding
Flooding can devastate the property of anyone living in the United Kingdom. From flash floods that come out of nowhere to the unstoppable increases in major water flowing through rivers such as the Thames, flooding can cause irreparable damage to homes and surrounding property. Water slowly takes a toll on infrastructure and sometimes, the toll produces uninhabitable homes. Prolonged exposure to moisture degrades brick mortar, as well as most types of wood. Flood repairs cost homeowners money in terms of materials and labor hours.
The costs of flooding should prompt you to prepare for a natural disaster, whether the natural disaster occurs every year or one time a decade.
Are You at Risk for Flooding?
Not every resident of the United Kingdom faces a risk for flooding. However, any UK resident that lives near a creek, stream, and/or river should prepare for the worst case disaster scenario. Even during dry seasons, a sudden onslaught of moisture can turn a dry creek bed into a raging torrent that carries your prized possession downstream. Home location plays another role in determining your risk for flooding. If you live on a hilltop, you probably don’t have to worry about flooding. However, homeowners that live along or at the bottom of hills should prepare for excess water flow. The United Kingdom Environment Agency provides maps that depict the highest flood risk areas in the UK. Moreover, the Environment Agency provides a freed service that alerts homeowners of imminent flooding. The agency bases its flood warning on postcard numbers.
Proactive is the Key
Let’s assume the Environment Agency issues a flood warning for your area. Do you simply run to higher ground or do you take measures to limit flood damage. Flooding doesn’t mean you have to wave the white flag at Mother Nature. You can implement several actions that reduce the damage flooding causes to your home and possessions.
Most of the proactive steps to limit flood damage exposure involve common sense.
- Turn off primary gas, water, and electrical lines
- Close dishwasher and washing machine intake and outtake valves
- Move furniture and expensive possession to the highest floor in your home
- Sandbag basement stairs and ground flood doors
- Close every window inside of your home
- Secure important personal and financial information inside of waterproof pouches
- Make sure you park vehicles as far away from water sources as possible
- Plug and weigh down sinks to prevent rising water from entering your home
Buy Peace of Mind Insurance
Homeowner insurance might provide you with the peace of mind to withstand the financial destruction of major flooding. However, many homeowners that live in the United Kingdom fail to read the fine print of home insurance polices. Many homeowner insurance policies include clauses that make you fully liable for flood damage costs.
Here’s what you need to verify for flooding insurance:
- Is your Home structure covered
- Do you have emergency coverage for another housing accommodation
- Does the policy use the term “full replacement cost”
- What do you have to do for filing a flooding damage claim
Advice for Flood Plain Residents
United Kingdom residents that live in flood plains should consider working with a flood insurance specialist that understands how to get you comprehensive flood insurance coverage, without busting your monthly budget. Flood insurance specialists especially help UK residents that live near major water tributaries. Insurance cost should never factor into your decision on selecting a homeowner insurance carrier. The best homeowner insurance policies include extensive flood insurance coverage that helps you recover the loss of expensive possessions.
Spend time researching insurance companies online and then create a short list of candidates. Ask questions via phone or website communication to ensure the companies on your short list offer comprehensive flood damage coverage within home insurance policies. Before you sign on the dotted line, meet with an insurance representative to confirm flood damage coverage. In addition, online customer testimonials and more important, friend and family member referrals, make a huge difference in homeowner insurance policy decisions.