The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is urging estate agents and property websites to provide up-front information about flood risk, using a simple traffic-light style mark, as it reveals that fewer than one in three people researched the flood risk of the property before buying their current home.
Responding to the ABI campaign, Greg Bryce, managing director of SearchFlow, property intelligence specialists, comments: “There has been a growing focus within the industry to improve the transparency and quality of information for homebuyers prior to their purchase. With so few investigating flood risk when buying a home, the call from the ABI for more upfront information on flooding is welcomed.
“However, the information proposed by the ABI should not be construed as a definitive risk assessment or unnecessarily deter people from purchasing a property. Regardless of whether flood risk information is made available on property details from the outset, it is recommended that conveyancers conduct specific searches for flood risk, and to arrange for an in-depth assessment by a technical expert if there is any flood risk to the property.
“Homebuyers informed of a potential flood risk will be very wary of purchasing a property in a flood risk area. But for many, despite searches revealing there is a risk, it may not happen. Homebuyers need to be informed of any risk so they can ensure they are properly protected; just in case.
“The consequences of flooding are clearly devastating for homeowners and, for many, this has been compounded by insurance premiums skyrocketing with exceedingly high excess, or worse, homeowners unable to insure their property against the risk of flood.
“To aid those in high risk flood areas, a joint industry and Government sponsored affordable flood insurance scheme, Flood Re, was rolled out in April 2016. It enables flood cover to be affordable for those households at highest risk of flooding.
“The conveyancing sector is in the best position ever to ensure homebuyers are properly protected with the right insurance in place and fully informed of potential risks prior to a purchase. Leading data search providers for the conveyancing industry are providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date data on flood risk areas to help ensure conveyancers carry out their due diligence with confidence.”