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Flooding – Facts, Figures, Flood Re and the future

  • 100 Years - December 2015 was the wettest month seen by the UK in over 100 years, with rainfall 91% above the average.[1]

  • 5 Named Storms - Five named storms have hit the UK since November. Desmond and Frank were the most severe, causing flooding across the North / North West of the UK.

  • £1.3 Billion - Estimates from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have put the total payouts from the three storms at £1.3bn.[2]

  • 20,000 Claims - The flooding has led to over 20,000 flood claims, including over 5,000 claims by businesses.[2]

  • £50,000 – The average cost of each domestic flooding claim is at £50,000.[2]

The winter of 2015/2016 has already seen record breaking rainfall and flooding, especially in the North of the UK, where a month’s worth of rain fell in just 24 hours [3]. As a result, thousands of homes and businesses have been devastated, and the insurance claims, worth around £50,000 each, keep rolling in.

Inevitably, insurance premium will be pushed up, as The Association of British Insurers have estimated the total payouts from insurers to be around £1.3bn [2]. The Environment Agency are also in the process of re-drawing their flood maps, which will undoubtedly place more UK homes ‘at risk’. Making it increasingly harder and expensive for the highest risk properties and businesses to take out insurance against future flooding.

The flooding has come amidst another UK crisis in the housing industry. A shortage of supply, and skills has led to the largest house building initiative the UK has seen since the 70’s. As the government look to free up land for the house building drive, as many as 20,000 houses are likely to be built in flood risk areas this year, 4,500 of these are said to be at medium or high risk.

Due to the shortage of supply in housing, both builders and homebuyers are having to compromise and take what is on offer. As supported by recent research conducted by HouseSimple which found that 1 in 4 homebuyers would still consider buying a home on a flood plain, despite the recent flooding [5].

Flood Re

Flood Re is a not-for-profit scheme, which is managed by the insurance industry, and is directly accountable to Parliament, with the purpose of…

  • Enabling flood cover to be affordable for those households at highest risk of flooding.
  • Increasing availability and choice of insurers for customers.
  • Allowing time for the Government, local authorities, insurers and communities to become better prepared for flooding.
  • Creating a 'level playing field' for new entrants and existing insurers in the UK home insurance market [4].

Set to launch in April 2016, Flood Re aims to benefit as many as 350,000 domestic properties. However, in the wake of recent events, there has been a call for commercial and business properties to be included in the scheme, or to have an equivalent solution.

The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) have said that it is working on flood insurance for small and medium-sized businesses, which are currently excluded from Flood Re.

"We are looking to see if we can put a commercial proposition together" said Graeme Trudgill, executive director at BIBA.

Future Climate Info

“Much more is expected of the professional advisors associated with conveyancing than ever before, and environmental matters can present pitfalls for the unwary. With flood risk providing a clear and present danger for all stakeholders associated with buying and selling property, clear and unambiguous advice is needed. For the purchaser, this ensures they can understand what it is they are acquiring, and for the lender, this clarity ensures that the loan value is protected. For the legal professional, they can feel confident that they are relying on expert advice which they can trust.”

Philip Wilbourn BSc C.Env FRICS, RICS Contributor and Director of Future Climate Info

Future Climate Info offer a range of environmental reports to aid solicitors in their due diligence within the conveyancing process. Each report offered by FCI includes a FULL flood and a professional opinion on each section. FCI also offer a standalone Flood Report, which analyses the latest data sets to provide an evaluation of a properties risk, notifying the buyer of the extent of the risk, and further actions if applicable.

Future Climate Info Reports


[1]: The month was not only the wettest December on record, but also the wettest calendar month overall since records* began in 1910, while 2015 is the sixth wettest year on record (dating back to 1910).
[3]: Britain on flood alert as a month's worth of rain falls in 24 hours.
[4]: Flood Re: About Us.
[5]: Quarter of UK buyers would consider a home on a flood plain despite recent floods.
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