Over the last few years we have seen dramatic floods taking place all over the country. After the terrible floods in 2007 when several people were killed and some 55,000 homes were affected the government commissioned a review, which concluded that we stop building on flood plains. This seems like a reasonable conclusion and begs the question, why were we building on flood plains in the first place?

Sadly we do not seem to have learnt from our mistakes and large-scale building on floodplains has continued. In fact, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), housing in areas where flooding is likely has grown at a rate of 1.2% per year since 2011, while the building of residential properties in areas of low risk has risen by just 0.7% over the same period. You would imagine that the market value for homes built on flood plains would be affected, as surely people would not intentionally purchase on a known flood plain?

However this does not seem to be the case and in fact in areas such as Tewkesbury, Gloustershire and Cockermouth in Cumbria we have seen house prices continue to increase.

So what can we do to protect ourselves from the devastating impact of flooding? The obvious answer is to insure yourself against flooding. However depending on where you live this is getting ever more difficult to do. As I have mentioned before the larger insurers are primarily interested in the mass market and therefore do not tailor there policy’s to the high value home when it comes to insurance. They are interested in the numbers and with the majority of people in the UK living in homes values at less than £200,000 this is where they focus. That is not to say that the large Insurance companies will turn your business away, far from it. They will welcome your business but they will sell you standard, one size fits all policies that can often be worthless in the event of a claim.

Here at McLeod Insurance we tailor our policies to ensure that you are properly covered in the event of flooding. We ensure that there is no small print preventing you from a claim if live within a certain distance from a river. Because we are specialists in high value home insurance and because we very often come out to inspect our client’s homes we are able to offer a higher level of advice and therefore a better service. You would imagine that the personal touch comes with a premium? Actually this is not always the case. A tailored policy that suits your requirements may well be a more cost effective way to insure your high value home.
As an insurance broker we are able to search the marketplace for the right policy for your needs.

As mentioned above the larger insurance companies are looking to insure the mass market and very often have loss leading policies for the standard customer. No such lost leader is available for the high value home and therefore the policies they offer you are a blunt tool and can sometimes not be worth the paper they are written on.

Having worked on the insurance business for some twenty years we have seen this blanket, one size fits all policy in action and to be honest that’s the reason we set up McLeod Insurance in the first place. We set it up as we seen a gap in the market for a more specialized approach to high value home insurance. We do not covet the mass market as to be honest they are adequately covered by the large Insurance company’s. We aim to provide a service for those that are not currently adequately covered by the larger insurers and that is the high value home insurance.

The storms and floods that have so tragically affected the UK in recent months and years have caused not only great financial damage but also in extreme case the loss of lives. With more than 55 million homes at risk of flooding it is a problem that is not going away. Climate change experts predict that sea levels will increase by between 13cm and 76cm by the year 2095. The Conservative / Liberal coalition government reduced flood defence programs by 8% in their first year in power. The Environment agency claims this was a 27% cut in real cash terms! It is even more important to protect yourself from the ravages of nature than ever before.

Give us a call here at McLeod Insurance if you need advice, a quote or even if you just want us to review your current policy to ensure that you are properly covered. We are here to help.

Richard McLeod
Director at McLeod Risk Services LLP
Richard McLeod LinkedIn profile

Top tip

Using an independent bespoke insurance broker such as McLeod Insurance, can reduce the cost of your policy, whilst also achieving the broadest cover in the market.

Direct policies are NOT necessarily the best value.