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New flood insurance scheme launches

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A new insurance scheme designed to help homeowners living in flood risk areas has launched but consumer awareness of it is low, research shows.

Flood Re – which launched on 4 April – should save thousands of people hundreds of pounds on their insurance premiums.

It will be available through the following insurers with more names due to be added to the list: Admiral, Avantia, Aviva, Bank of Scotland, Cherish, Churchill, Direct Line, First Direct, Halifax, Hiscox, L&G, HSBC Home Insurance, LV=, Lloyds Bank, More Than, Nationwide and Privilege.

However, a study of 1,000 homeowners by Admiral found only one in seven had heard of Flood Re.

Insurance companies will be able to offer lower premiums to flood prone homeowners as they’ll be able to pass on the flood risk part of the policy to Flood Re, a reinsurance company funded by the insurance industry.

Flood Re collects an annual fee from every home insurer in the UK and any flood claim costs are reimbursed to the insurer from the central Flood Re fund.

Landlords and properties built since 1 January 2009 are excluded from the scheme.

Brendan McCafferty, chief executive of Flood Re, said:

“We have been working tirelessly to ensure we’re ready so that consumers can start benefitting from greater choice and more competition in the insurance market. This should make flood cover more affordable and accessible to those in high flood risk areas over time.

“Consumers should check the Flood Re website to see which insurers are signed up, speak to their current insurer and be prepared to shop around. When buying a policy they should make sure it is the best one for them, not just the cheapest.”

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