House cover shot up by 35% over ‘flood risk’

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.Some face premium rises of more than 30 per cent as a result of the new technology designed to pinpoint flood risk down to a single property rather than assuming all properties in a postcode area are alike.

But they say the technology remains flawed and that Aviva makes it difficult for them to challenge premium increases because of the insurer’s insistence on them obtaining an expensive civil engineer’s report or an independent expert view.

Ludicrous: Joanna Hopwood ridiculed Aviva’s risk assessment, saying that water would have to ‘run uphill’ to reach her barn

BBC consumer programme Watchdog reported last week on the case of a homeowner in Leeds insured by Aviva who has been told his home cover premium will double despite preventative flooding measures taken in the area.

Joanna Hopwood, 51, owner of an events venue in Worcestershire, is another victim of Aviva’s new flood-mapping technology.

Two months ago, Aviva told her broker the cost of cover on her converted barn near Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, would be increasing by 35 per cent, due mainly to the risk of flooding on the Grade Two-listed building.

Aviva said: ‘Our mapping data shows the chance of flooding at the property is greater than one in 75 and this means it falls into our highest flood risk area.’

Joanna was flabbergasted. Although the barn is close to a stream called the Hogbrook, she says it has never flooded in the 13 years she has lived there.

‘It’s a nondescript stream,’ she says. ‘In fact it’s so nondescript that most of the time it’s dry.

‘At one stage it was filled in until a neighbour dug it out. As for the barn, it’s too high and on a slope and any water would have to run uphill to put the barn at the risk of flooding. Even then, the doors sit three feet above ground level. Aviva’s assessment of my property is a ludicrous one.’

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