Selling/Buying a House
For those Buying or Selling a house in Bucklebury, or if you are worried about insurance, we recommend that this webpage be read and shared. Its address is http://www.floodalleviation.co.uk/insurance/index.htm
Reducing the Likelihood of Future Flooding
Bucklebury was flooded in July 2007 for a variety of reasons. The Bucklebury Flood Alleviation team has worked together with our Partners to understand the Causes and has delivered on a number of Projects to address these causes and to significantly reduce the likelihood of future flooding.
Our main project has passed the EA business case test, and is being designed by the Environment Agency and Peter Brett Associates. The EA and the Thames Regional Flood Defence Committee agreed on 22 April 2008 to provide 50% funding for all capital projects (A-D).
A letter from Mark Edwards, Head of Highways at West Berkshire Council, confirming WBC's involvement in this work to an insurance broker, can be found here. This letter as a Microsoft Word document can be found here.
NaFRA data and the Likelihood of Flooding
The Environment Agency assesses the likelihood of flooding for every area of land measuring 100m by 100m. It updates this information every 6 months. These results are then placed into three risk categories as used by the insurance industry.
The three risk categories are:
- Low – the chance of flooding each year is 0.5 per cent (1 in 200) or less
- Moderate – the chance of flooding in any year is 1.3 per cent (1 in 75) or less but greater than 0.5 per cent (1 in 200)
- Significant – the chance of flooding in any year is greater than 1.3 per cent (1 in 75)
The results of this National Flood Risk Assessment (NaFRA) are provided to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and financial services sector to enable the industry to continue to offer their services to as many people as possible who live in flood risk areas.
Bucklebury's Likelihood of Flooding
The EA currently rates some areas in Bucklebury Village as Low, some as Moderate and some as Significant. On the EA Map, check "Learn More" and then click on a location to find out which applies. This assessment does not yet take into account the work that the Bucklebury Flood Alleviation team has completed, nor the flood defences that are planned.
This means that the chance of a flood occurring and water levels reaching the same levels in a given year is 1.25%
In the Future
The modelling and design of Project A, together with the other Projects aims to increase the 'return period' for a flood equivalent to that of July 2007 to 250 years.
This means that the chance of a flood occurring and water levels reaching the same levels in a given year would become 0.4%
Funding for the scheme has been approved by the Thames Regional Flood Defence Committee. When the project has received approval by the EA's "Project Appraisal Board" (July/August 2008) then the EA should update their NaFRA data to reflect the change in Flooding Probability.
Insuring your House
The ABI and its members have agreed a Statement of Principles relating to the provision of House and Contents Insurance for properties in a 'flood risk area'.
The key points relating to Bucklebury are:
- I live in a flood risk area. What insurance cover will I be offered on my property?
- In areas defended now to Government standards of 1 in 75 years or better (Low or Moderate), ABI members will offer flood cover in the normal way on buildings and contents policies to homeowners. This applies to both existing policyholders and new customers.
- Where a homeowner in one of these areas sells their property, their current insurer will continue to provide cover, subject to satisfactory information about the new homeowners.
- In areas where no improvements in defences are planned, insurers cannot guarantee to provide cover in all cases. However, where there is a history of flooding they will use best efforts to work with policyholders to establish on a case-by-case basis, what action they, the Environment Agency and the Local Authority can take to enable cover to be continued. We will have defences planned with the Environment Agency, so this will not apply - once the plans are approved.
- My area is planned to get some improved flood defences, but this may not happen for several years. What attitude are insurers going to take to this?
- Insurers understand that defences cannot be improved overnight. The Statement makes provision for those areas where defence improvements will be delivered within the next five years.
- Does the Statement include a guarantee that the price of insurance will not change from 1 January 2003?
- No. Premiums and other policy terms and conditions offered such as excesses remain competitive issues for individual insurers to set. These will depend largely upon how the flood risk in each location is managed in the future and the measures taken to reduce damage costs when a flood occurs.