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Flood coverage rises under UK pool

The UK’s Flood Re scheme has significantly increased access to affordable cover in high-risk areas, the authority says after its one-year anniversary.

Four out of five householders with previous flood claims have seen at least a 50% reduction in prices quoted, according to research commissioned from Consumer Intelligence.

About 58% of households with previous claims have access to 10 or more quotes, while at the end of December, 95% could get prices from two or more providers, the report says.

Before the scheme began on April 4 last year, only 9% of householders who had made prior claims could get quotes from two or more insurers; none could access five or more.

“Flood Re has changed the insurance market so that tens of thousands of households that have been flooded can access more affordable insurance,” Chairman Mark Hoban said.

The scheme will be in place for a further 23 years and is expected to help about 350,000 households that would otherwise struggle to gain cover.

The Government and the Association of British Insurers signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the pool in July 2013 after a series of unexpectedly severe floods led to soaring premiums that priced many householders out of the market.

Some 60 insurers are now signed up to the scheme, compared with 16 at launch, representing 90% of the home cover market.

Customers continue to buy home policies through insurers, which also manage claims, but insurance companies pass on the flood risk element for eligible households to Flood Re.

The premium Flood Re charges per policy to insurers is lower than if the risk was fully accounted for, because contributions come from a statutory levy on all home insurers in the country.

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