Flooding: Sink or swim

Over the last few years we have seen widespread disruption and damage caused by flooding.  The Met Office predicts that climate change will lead to an increase in extreme weather events, meaning the UK will have to learn to live with severe flooding.

The Government has an agreement with the Association of British Insurers, called the ‘Statement of Principles’, that commits insurers to continue to offer insurance to existing customers where they are at significant risk of flooding, but this will end in June 2013.  The Government is now endeavouring to agree a successor arrangement with the objective of reaching an agreement with insurers which will keep property insurance at an affordable level without placing unsustainable costs on all policyholders and the taxpayer.

Significant advances in flood risk mapping and forecasting will give insurers the ability to ascertain the potential flood risk to individual properties. The Government is making attempts to reduce flood risk by spending more than £2.17 billion in flood and coastal erosion risk management in England over a 4 year period.  They anticipate that the benefit from this investment will be reflected in reduced insurance premiums in the future.   

At Birkett Long LLP, we carry out an environmental search as an essential part of any property transaction.  Apart from providing information on matters such as landfill sites and contaminated land it shows whether the property is in an area potentially affected by flooding, whether that is caused by coastal, river, surface or groundwater sources. 

Our real estate department comprises of commercial, agricultural and residential teams. Team members are experienced professionals who aim to provide a high quality, speedy and cost effective service.

David Temperton