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Home insurance flood damage claims falling

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The number of home insurance quotes including claims for flood and storm damage has fallen over the past five years, despite more extreme weather events in the UK.

A study by Go.Compare found that quotes with flood and storm damage claims have decreased by 30% since 2017, despite increasing rainfall meaning the UK is now 9% wetter than in the 1960s.

In 2017, Go.Compare provided 3,448 home insurance quotes for properties that had previously claimed for flood damage. However, this decreased by 30% in 2022. A similar trend can be seen in the number of home insurance quotes that had a previous storm damage claim, which fell by more than 20% between 2017 and 2022.

According to the Environment Agency, more than 300,000 homes in England are now better protected from the effects of climate change after the government’s investment in flood defences. Upcoming schemes hope to reduce the national flood risk by another 11% and avoid around £32bn of wider economic damages.

Mary Long-Dhonau OBE, flood resilience advisor and campaigner of MDA Flood Resilience Consultants, said: “The government has doubled its investment in flood risk management and there’s also been a large increase in property flood resilience schemes, which will have reduced claims. But this is in combination with other factors.

“Climate change is here, and flood risk will continue to increase, especially surface water flooding. Clouds are now heavier and move more slowly. This means they stay and drop their contents in one localised area. This type of flash flooding is much harder to predict.”

According to the Met Office, the average number of days with precipitation over the 99th percentile of daily rainfall rose by 22% between 1991 and 2022, when compared to the three decades before. Rainfall events exceeding 50 mm of rainfall have also increased.

It is anticipated that the UK will experience much wetter winters going forward, with rainfall in the summer also becoming more intense. This will have a considerable impact on the regularity and severity of surface water flooding.

Ceri McMillan, home insurance expert at Go.Compare, said: “We hope that this downturn in flood and storm damage claims is a result of better flood protections and successful flood defence schemes. However, the latest expert data shows that surface water flooding is likely to become worse and more frequent, so investing in protection for your home is still incredibly important.

“Even if you don’t live in a high-risk area, it’s best to be covered for all eventualities. Flood insurance is included as part of any standard home insurance policy, so you won’t need to take out extra cover, but you’ll be protected from any damage or loss in the event of a flood.”