Flooding questions for home owners

A homeowner who has never experienced flooding in 53 years has questionned why her insurance premium has more than doubled.
Savick Brook, Ashton-on-Ribble, PrestonSavick Brook, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston
Savick Brook, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston

The woman, who asked not to be named, said the Aviva renewal quote for the house in Seymour Road, Ashton, was £540 - compared to £262 previously.

She was told it was because the property was in a flood risk area, and quotes from other companies were similar.

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She said: “In 53 years I have never experienced flooding although Savick Brook runs along the bottom of my very long garden.”

She argued the brook flows into the Ribble Link, which has locks to control levels, and Highgate Wood is an overflow catchment area.

She added: “If there’s a genuine reason then fine, but the insurance industry needs to explain it.”

The Environment Agency (EA) says the address “is in or near a flood risk area”. Two neighbours said their 300ft gardens had flooded half way up once in around 30 years. One said their quote had risen from £650 to £900 in the past year, and had been forced to add excess to their policy to reduce costs.

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Another said their premium had increased year-on-year, but “has not rocketted”.

Aviva could not comment on the woman’s case as it could not trace the renewal quote.

Andy Roden of County Insurance, a brokers with a branch in Preston, said the EA flood risk rating was one of many factors examined by insurers, and can change over time.

He said base premiums for all households can rise if a company has a bad claims year, such as following heavy flooding in 2015, and a portion of all premiums now goes towards funding the Flood Re scheme, brought in last year and aimed at providing more affordable cover for those in flood risk areas.