Flood Re

Home insurance policies

18 February 2019

Around five million people live in flood risk areas in England and Wales, with one in six English homes at risk of flooding. As climate change brings ever wetter weather, schemes like Flood Re offering flood protection are more important than ever. But what exactly is it?

In this guide:

The Flood Re basics

Flood Re is a not-for-profit programme designed to help people who live in flood risk areas to find affordable home insurance. It's a collaboration between the government and insurance companies (including AXA), with a central fund allowing insurers to re-insure high risk properties.

Why is Flood Re important?

People insure their homes so that they can repair damage and replace possessions, but with the average cost of restoring a flooded property sitting between £20,000 and £45,000, it's an expensive prospect for insurers. Flood Re means that insurance companies are able to offer cheaper policies to people who live in flood risk areas, and those people are able to shop around to find a policy that suits them.

Eligibility for a Flood Re policy

To be eligible for a Flood Re backed policy your home has to have been built before 2009 and be non-commercial. This is because Flood Re has replaced the Statement of Principles which ran to 2009. It also aims to ensure that builders act responsibly by discouraging them from building new properties in high risk areas.

How to find out if your home is at risk from flooding

You don't necessarily need to live beside a river or the sea to be at risk of flood damage. Flash floods and surface water flooding can also cause damage to properties, and will also be backed by Flood Re if you live in an eligible area. If you're not sure whether you live in a high risk area you can ask your insurer, or you can use online resources like the government's long-term flood risk assessment page if you live in England, the Natural Resources flood risk map for Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency's flood map for Scotland.

What you can do if you live in a flood risk area

Flood claims can take a long time to resolve and can feel pretty disruptive, both emotionally and in terms of your day-to-day life. For example, it’s likely you would have to be moved into temporary housing, often for periods longer than a year. So it's a good idea to try and avoid this turmoil by taking some preventative measures to protect your property from flood damage. It'll also give you peace of mind, and help you if you ever decide to sell your property – nearly 8 out of 10 UK adults would feel better knowing that their home had flood prevention measures installed.

Permanent flood resistance systems such as flood-resistant doors, windows, tanking and cavity drain membranes can be costly but they'll keep your property and possessions safe in case of flooding. Another way to protect your home is to choose water compatible walls and flooring to minimise the damage. Ceramic tiles will see out a flood better than carpets or wooden flooring. It's also important to make sure you've got good sealing around your doors, windows, cracks, weepholes and service inlets so that water can't sneak in.

Bad weather and flooding tend to go hand in hand, so it's worth taking a look at our tips to protect your home from storm damage. We've also got some great advice for driving on flooded roads.

Helping you do more of what matters

Your time counts. We get it. That's why we've made it quick and easy to make your AXA home insurance claim online. It only takes about 20 minutes to do2 and we’ll get in touch the next working day to talk about what happens next.