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April 2020 | General Insurance

Geoff Hall: The UK has had a battering

Geoff Hall is chairman of Berkeley Alexander

Last month, two winter storms brought major flooding and the UK insurance industry is set to pay out £363m on claims.

Although the news agenda has shifted to COVID-19, the aftermath of the floods is still very much a reality for those affected.

Whilst we wouldn’t condone any form of ambulance chasing, there will be many property owners out there who now find themselves under-insured or without any cover and in desperate need of professional advice.

Solutions are out there for both homeowners and businesses affected or at risk of flooding. For residential homeowners, the solution might be to use a Flood Re scheme product.

Whilst there are some restrictions on who can access this scheme, general insurance providers can help find cover for affected clients.

For businesses the options are more limited, with many commercial insurers being unwilling to take the flood risk themselves. However, it’s possible to arrange cover excluding flood, so they can continue to trade and be insured against the risks.

There is also an innovative solution that offers one option – a parametric flood insurance where in the event of a flood, when water depths exceed a threshold, a pre-agreed settlement figure is paid out. 

This works well on properties that are already flood resilient, with hard tiled floors, raised electrics and where it’s possible for some items of stock and equipment to be stored well above the potential flood levels.

It doesn’t give the client access to a claims service that can help manage the reinstatement process on the fabric of the property, but it gives them an agreed payment, enabling them to replace furnishings and stock, and to cover some of the lost profits. It’s a good idea in certain circumstances, especially in conjunction with the right insurance solutions.