In August 2012, Professor David Crichton, an expert on ‘Flooding issues’, updated his earlier academic paper stating that England should copy Scotland in flood risk prevention. He calls for planners, developers and architects to be “legally liable when people are flooded” this he says is a way of preventing further high risk flood zone and flood plain development. Continue reading
The Environment Agency being the British Government body required to control, monitor and advice on all matters affecting ‘Floods’ says : Get the location of new housing right: We need to avoid building homes in places where we will regret doing so, such as in areas at risk of flood. Continue reading
Home owners in the UK whose properties are at risk of flooding who have seen the price of their insurance rise in recent years have been urged to speak out. as reported on Friday, 02 May 2014 by Property Wire the Premier global property news service. They are being warned that government plans could leave them without access to affordable flood cover from next year.
The British Property Federation is asking anyone who has seen their premiums rise, or who is finding it hard to obtain buildings insurance for flood, to fill out a short online questionnaire as it steps up its campaign to ensure that Flood Re, the Government’s new flood insurance scheme, will be available to all home owners. Continue reading
A citizen science project suggests climate change really has increased the risk of flooding in the UK.
The issue has been highlighted by the recent floods, amid a January that saw double the normal monthly rainfall in parts of England.
Prof Myles Allen presented evidence of a link between floods and climate change at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) meeting in Vienna.
It indicates climate change is increasing the risk of extreme weather.
It also suggests that insurance costs are likely to grow. (more)
Landowners, buyers and tenants may have both immediate and long term concerns if their property is at risk of flooding. These will be more serious if the potential flooding will be frequent or deep. The more important concerns are:
Potential increased cost of, or difficulty in, obtaining insurance cover against flood risk. Many insurers have access to sophisticated data on the risk to properties, both commercial and residential, from river flooding, coastal flooding, surface water flooding and even groundwater flooding. For properties at particular risk, the insurer may set a higher cost (premium or excess) or refuse cover (see Changes to the method of assessment).
Increased risk that mortgage finance secured on the property will be more difficult to obtain, or more expensive, because flood risk is higher and/or insurance against it is not readily available. This may affect property value and/or ease of sale (see How insurance impacts on mortgage availability and property values).
Cost and disruption when a flood occurs:
potential loss of and cost of replacing goods and chattels;
likely cost of repairing structural damage to the property;
potential disruption to trade and loss of profits due to inability to access the property, failure of essential services, damage to or failure of communications or damage to goods;
cost of relocating to alternative property (even on a temporary basis); or
possible effects on the health of homeowners, employees and tenants as a result of flooding (both at the time of the flood and afterwards: flooding can lead to long term anxiety and health problems). Continue reading
Disaster; waiting to happen. Not IF just WHEN.
See research document on Flood and Family Health
Click pics to see more.
On 21 March 2014 the exclusions to the Flood Re scheme are a public relations disaster waiting to happen for the insurance industry, according to Hiscox chief executive Bronek Masojada.
In its current form the affordable flood insurance scheme, which comes into force in summer 2015, only covers owner-occupied homes built before 2009 that are worth less than £320,000, which Masojada said excludes 35% of the homes in the country. Continue reading
On 4 December an article by Aidan Kerr, head of property at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), in the Yorkshire Post reported that widespread concerns have been raised over recent weeks after it emerged small businesses and properties built after 2009 will be excluded. The announcement means yet another group of property-owners being excluded from the scheme – known as “Flood Re” – which was unveiled amid much fanfare by the Government in the summer after years of negotiations with the insurance industry. Continue reading
A proposed new scheme for flood insurance in the UK may not be sustainable because the impacts of climate change have not been taken into account, says a report by the Grantham Research Institute says Energy & Environment Magazine on 19 August 2013. The policy paper was published by the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The paper states: “The design of the Flood scheme, which is expected to last until at least 2035, has not taken into account adequately, if at all, how flood risk is being affected by climate change. Continue reading
House of Commons Managing Flood Risk
Para 50. Agreement that the Government will “prevent unnecessary building in areas of high flood risk”. Evidence to the Committee’s previous Future Flood Management Legislation inquiry supported this approach—for example, an insurance company urged that “clear attention” be given to curbing construction in areas exposed to high flood risk. A key aim of the PPS 25 (Planning Policy Statement on flooding) was to ensure that local authorities framed policies to locate development in places that “avoid flood risk to people and property where possible”, and which “manage any residual risk, taking account of the impacts of climate change”. Continue reading
Hundreds of thousands of households in flood-prone areas will be guaranteed affordable flood insurance after the government and insurance industry agreed a deal today. (27 July 2013)
After negotiations with the Association of British Insurers (ABI), this new agreement replaces the current ‘Statement of Principles’ that runs out at the end of July and will bring peace of mind to people who will soon need to renew their insurance. Continue reading
IN an independent Scotland, the rain would keep falling regardless; says Professor Alan Werritty on Friday 21 June 2013. Whether we vote Yes or No in next year’s referendum, the nation’s future will likely be at least as wet as its recent past, and probably much more so. The best educated guesses are now suggesting that the floods to come will alter our landscape and our way of life to a vastly greater extent than any constitutional sea change. Continue reading
Is your home identified as being a high flood risk? If so it may be tricky to arrange home insurance, but there are options says money.uk on 8 April 2013. The ABI (Association of British Insurers) is calling for: a rigorous planning system that prevents developments in high flood risk areas; sustained, long-term flood defence spending; and Government support to ensure flood insurance remains widely available and affordable. Continue reading
Government accused of game of bluff with insurers as thousands of flood-risk properties could soon lose cover reports The Guardian on 31 March 2013. The chairman of a national charity that helps householders affected by floods has accused the government of “playing with people’s lives” as it looks increasingly likely that thousands of homes will be without affordable insurance from July.
Last week environment Secretary Owen Paterson admitted he was disappointed at failing to secure a new agreement over the insurance of homes and businesses at high risk of flooding. The government has been locked in talks with the insurance industry for months over the future of flood cover as the existing agreement – the Statement of Principles – runs out in June 2013. This agreement between the government and the industry obliges insurers to offer flood insurance as part of standard policies at reasonable rates, providing the government invests in flood defences. Continue reading
The Government must step up its efforts to seal a deal with property insurers over flooding before a June deadline to stop home-owners being left with uninsurable, unsellable homes, the original Express & Star March 26, 2013 5:10 pm article can be seen here The statement of principles under which flood-threatened properties can be insured expires in the summer and talks between ministers and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are reported to be deadlocked.
Developers are planning tens of thousands of new homes in areas at high risk of flooding, it can be revealed.
Thousands of homes planned for flood plains; Analysis by The Sunday Telegraph of planning applications that the Environment Agency objected to because of flood risk has revealed developers last year submitted more than 3,000 separate plans to build 27,923 houses in areas prone to flooding. One recently-built estate in Ruthin, north Wales, was left underwater despite residents being given guarantees that their £200,000 homes were safe from all but the worst floods. nearby St Asaph, an elderly woman was found dead in her flooded house after 500 homes were evacuated. Continue reading
Some high-flood risk households could pay excesses of up to £20,000, according to AA figures
Thousands of homeowners in high-risk flood areas are paying excesses of more than £10,000, the Financial Times reports.
The paper cites figures from insurance broker AA Insurance, which said that thousands of policyholders face excesses of “significantly” more than £10,000, with some even having to pay £20,000 before their insurance cover kicks in.
This compares with excesses of £250 for homeowners in areas with low flood risk. Continue reading
As the countryside comes under more pressure from developers, we meet the victims of a failed flood system in Ruthin, North Wales says as an excellent article in The Telegraph ‘Everyone blames everyone else, and it’s the ordinary people in the middle who suffer’
What they actually said was there was only a ‘once-in-a-thousand-years’ possibility of us being flooded. Well, we moved in nine months ago, and it’s already happened
“There’s a lot that needs explaining,” admits Ruthin’s mayor, Emrys Wynne, trudging the streets of Glasdir. “We just don’t know the answers yet. Perhaps the wrong kind of system was built. Perhaps it was simply overwhelmed by the amount of water. All we know at the moment is that it failed, and it’s a tragedy for these people.”
Flood danger spots identified by Environment Agency and reported by The Whitehaven News at 13:36, Friday, 09 November 2012. MORE than 60 Cumbrian communities are living under the threat of flash flooding – double the number in the rest of the entire north west region.
It includes almost 20 communities in the west of the county, including those along the coast such as the River Ehen (covering Egremont, Thornhill, Braystones and Cleator), Skirting Beck (Egremont), Nor Beck (Cleator Moor), Calder Bridge and Ennerdale Bridge. Continue reading
On Thursday, 25 October 2012 Phil Coleman of Times & Star reports that two Cumbrian towns have been chosen to pioneer a new generation of flood defences. Officials at the Environment Agency accept that floods are the number one natural hazard facing the UK, with climate changes and extreme weather putting more properties as risk. Continue reading
Joanna Hopwood says my “uphill house” flood insurance shot up by 35% over ‘flood risk’ from a ditch as Aviva uses new technology for premiums as reported on 07 October 2012 by Jeff Prestridge of this is money.co.uk website . Aviva Britain’s biggest insurer, is facing a backlash from a minority of customers over the introduction of new flood-mapping technology designed to align premiums more precisely with the flood risk to individual homes. Continue reading
Insurers advise home owners on flood preparations, says Jan Harris on September 24, 2012. With sixty-five areas of England on flood alert, the Association of British Insurers is warning home owners to keep insurance documents and emergency contact details in a safe, dry place. Contacts for gas, water and electricity providers should also be kept safe. Continue reading
Government’s new environment secretary Owen Paterson on Friday 14 September 2012 when speaking to Anna Burdett of The Cumberland News advised that the practice of building homes on land that has flooded in recent years as “idiotic, people should become more aware when buying a house and of the consequences of buying in an unwise location”. Continue reading
On 31 August 2012 the West Cumbrian Times & Star newspaper reported “Flash-flooding in Seascale and Gosforth was the worst a firefighter has ever seen”. David Moore, watch manager at Seascale Fire Station, said: “In my 40 years of working as a firefighter here I’ve never seen anything like this. The water levels in Seascale and Gosforth were up to car level.” Village resident Mr Pattison said that he had never seen flooding like it in 50 years in the village. Continue reading
An agreement between government and the insurance industry over the future of flood insurance is imminent – but could see householders paying out extra costs. as reported 17 July 2012 by the North West Evening Mail. The insurance industry has an agreement with the government – which runs out in 2013 – committing it to provide cover for customers, as long as flood risk is properly managed. Continue reading
Thursday, 19 July 2012 a Plea for help as West Cumbrian flood insurance crisis grows as reported by the Times & Star: Some Cockermouth householders can no longer afford to pay for flood insurance. The scale of Cockermouth’s flood insurance crisis can be revealed today as residents continue to struggle with issues more than two-and-a-half years on from the November 2009 floods. Continue reading
Careful study needed if Wales is to make good use of floodplains says Simon Haslett, Professor of Physical Geography and Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales in his article at Wales Online. Certainly for residents of flooded areas it may be the first time in living memory that they have suffered an inundation, but that doesn’t mean that floods have not occurred in these areas in the past. Continue reading
Environment Agency says “difficult to stop flooding completely” when rainfall levels are high
The Environment Agency has defended its flood response over the past two days, saying “it’s difficult to stop flooding completely” when rainfall is high as reported by the BBC. Up to 500 properties flooded in Lancashire and West Yorkshire after a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours.
Agency spokesman Alex Ross said there had been “very, very high levels of rainfall falling in a very short period of time” in Lancashire and Yorkshire and that some rivers had reached their highest levels on record.
“We can try and predict where the rain will fall, we can try and give early alerts and warnings and we can try and build flood defences to give a reasonable level of protection but it is very difficult to stop flooding completely.” Continue reading
More than 11,000 homes and businesses are being protected by flood defences and owners of 7,000 properties have been issued with warnings as people were forced to flee after more than a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours says the Independant.
The Environment Agency said people should remain vigilant and warned of further rain throughout Saturday and into Sunday in areas of northern England already counting the cost of what it said was “exceptional rainfall and record river levels”. Continue reading
Flooding victims are pleading with builders to stop development on grassland before their houses are damaged.
On Saturday 23 June 2012 the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that several residents who live at the foot of the Harvest View development, on Garforth Cliff, have had their gardens engulfed with water after developers started work on land that naturally soaked up the rain. Continue reading
On 15 June 2012 Jan Harris of Finance Markets reported that recent flooding could lead to higher insurance premiums. Floods currently affecting Wales and south east England could be following by a rise in the price of home insurance premiums, according to analysts.
The heavy rainfall could cause some insurance companies to miss their profitability targets, and there is more rain on the way according to the Met Office, with flood warnings in place across the UK. Continue reading
Flood warnings for UK as storm builds over Atlantic as reported by Steven Morris of the Guardian newspaper group.
Met Office issues severe weather warning – high speed winds and heavy rains to batter England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Monsoon in summer: more rain is on its way, the Met Office has warned. Continue reading
Wales flooding: Residents left devastated by floods.
Residents caught up in severe overnight flooding in mid Wales have spoken of the speed the floods hit. Report by BBC News.
Villages in Ceredigion have been cut off with houses and four caravan parks being flooded. Emergency services have helped at least 150 people to safety with several being rescued by helicopter. Stephen South, owner of Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, near Aberystwyth, described the situation as “very, very frightening”. “I’ve lived on Riverside for 22 years but I’ve never witnessed anything like this before. We have nothing. The only clothes we have is what we’re standing up in, but we’re safe and that’s all that matters” Continue reading
£90,000 campaign launched to save Egremont Dale View Gardens estate from River Ehen. A campaign has been launched to raise £90,000 to protect a cliff side housing estate at risk from erosion. Act now: ’You just have to look a mile down the river at Rothersyke to see how bad the situation can get’. Continue reading
Flood-risk households get closer to insurance guarantee“Comment on article-but will it remove the fear of floods, see statement below by mother and householder Rita Edge of Cleator, West Cumbria“: original article by Lisa Bachelor; guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 8 May 2012 12.33 BST Continue reading
Mortgage lenders join call for clarity on flood insurance
3 May 2012 |By Newsdesk
Affordable insurance ‘key to stable housing market’ says lenders’ association
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has added its voice to the call for greater clarity on future availability of flood insurance in risky areas. Continue reading
Like Ireland and Queensland, England has yet to adopt sustainable flood management practices on any large scale. Indeed land use planning is becoming less regulated and is likely to result in even more inappropriate development in flood hazard areas under the new National Planning Framework: says Professor David Crichton MA(Hons), FCII..Chartered Insurance Practitioner. Continue reading
The framework sets out the Government‟s vision for planning in England, focusing particularly on sustainable development and local decision making.
It is vital that new development is insurable. Property insurance provides customers with the confidence that they are protected should the property be damaged or rendered unusable. Insurance is also a prerequisite for the vast majority of mortgages, and therefore underpins local housing markets: Continue reading
AOL Money & Finance website on April 11, 2012 reports: “Of course, nowadays only a fool would unwittingly buy a home on a flood plain as it is very easy to find out where they are – just visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk for flood maps and a wealth of invaluable information. If that doesn’t put you off an otherwise perfect property, the associated insurance costs might make it unaffordable”. Continue reading
(Reuters) -LONDON | Tue Apr 3, 2012 5:29pm BST -Insurers on Tuesday cast doubt over a plan to provide affordable flood cover in high-risk areas without government subsidies, saying it lacks industry support and will probably require taxpayer funding to work effectively. Continue reading
On Apr 3, 2012 Hannah Ricci, reported that a new solution to help homeowners on flood plains insure their properties is set to launch this summer. (N.B. immediate concern is shown on effectiveness of solution) With a government agreement that requires insurers to cover flood-prone homes due to end next year, ‘Project Noah’ is currently being trialled to help the thousands of households who face becoming uninsurable. Continue reading
Since it’s virtually impossible to sell an uninsurable house, house prices in the worst affected areas would plummet, trapping the vulnerable and those on low incomes in new areas which are likely to emerge as what the Environment Agency calls “deprivation hotspots”. And, in the event of a flood hitting, lives will be utterly destroyed as families and businesses lose everything without the recourse to funds for rebuilding. Continue reading
Recently Cumbria CVS completed a research project that established the importance of the work of the voluntary sector in helping Cumbrian communities recover from the November 2009 floods.
It is interesting to note that on page 89 of the document they say: The ‘statement for principles’ ends in 2013. There have been a number of flood summits attended by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Brokers, Insurance companies, Nation Flood Forum (NFF) and concerned MP’s. “Many areas that have been flooded are now facing increased premiums and vast excesses. Houses cannot be sold as new owners cannot obtain home insurance”.
The Government produced is much discussed bill on planning policy yesterday the 27 March 2012.
Accompanying the formal document is the “Technical Guidance to the National Planning Policy Framework“. This is the ‘cheat sheet’ which directs all users on how to do things!!
It is very interesting to note that following paragraph one (1) the Introduction paragraph which basically says “here is the future planning policy”. Paragraph two (2) immediately starts by saying:
As set out in the National Planning Policy Framework, inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided by directing development away from areas at highest risk, but where development is necessary, making it safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere.
Obviously the government cannot say “do not build on high risk flood zone” because most of the south east and a lot of other areas of this Island of ours is designated as a high risk flood zone. And some people actually wish to live there, rather that the wonderful hilly, undulating landscape with plenty of land not subject to flooding county of Cumbria.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation says: Catastrophic flooding events have become increasingly frequent in the UK and, with climate change, are likely to become even more frequent in the future. Page 13 of this document states: In England roughly 10 per cent of new build is in flood plain. In contrast, in Scotland there has been no new build in flood plain since 1995. The extent of new build in flood plains in England, in particular, (see Table 1) and the absence of regulations on flood resilience in building raise serious problems.
Pitt says in 2007: There should be a presumption against building in high flood risk areas
Government says 2012: Government continues to recognise the importance of preventing unnecessary building in areas of flood risk and that new development that does take place should be safe and not increase flood risk. Continue reading
The UK has suffered the driest 18 months since records and with the south east and east Anglia already officially in a state of drought the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is warning home owners to be aware of the risk of subsidence.
Additionally the government may now be unable to complete the necessary flood infrastructure due to lack of funds which will make it difficult for owners to purchase insurance cover if the government fails to build flood-control infrastructure.. Continue reading
Flood insurance uncertainty gives businesses and homeowners sinking feeling; Businesses and homeowners seeking flood insurance could face greater uncertainty and prohibitively expensive insurance premiums in just four months’ time, experts will warn today. Continue reading
Flooding is the biggest environmental threat facing the UK, according to Defra chief Scientist Sir Bob Watson. The risks of flooding are projected in increase significantly across the UK. The landmark Climate Change Risk Assessment, published earlier this year, set out a clear case on the scale of the risk facing the UK from climate change and increasing flood risk. This is not news to the many communities already facing heightened risk from flooding. Full article 08/03/2012
BBC News 27 February 2012: Nick Starling, Director of the Association of British Insurers, said members were determined that flood insurance remained as “widely available and competitively priced” as possible but local authorities need to ensure that there is no more foolish housing development in high flood risk areas. Up to 200,000 homes could struggle to get insurance against flooding next year, according to council leaders.The Local Government Association (LGA) wants to replace a soon-to-expire ‘safety net’ covering flood-risk areas. Continue reading
18 October 2011 Government planning reforms must not lead to unsaleable, uninsurable and uninhabitable properties warns the ABI. Continue reading
Families living in flood-risk areas could be left with uninsurable and unsellable home: The town of Morpeth in Northumberland faced massive flooding in 2008, hitting 950 homes. Alan Bell, chairman of the Morpeth Flood Action Group, says many locals have been unable to sell their homes because they cannot get affordable home insurance. Continue reading
Copeland MP Jamie Reed, Labour’s shadow floods minister says, “Cancelled flood defence schemes and changes to flood insurance are causing communities up and down the country to begin to fear for the future. The fear among many is that Government action will lead to whole communities becoming not just uninsurable, but unmortgageable. Continue reading