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Homebuyers call for flood risk data

Chris Davies
Written By:
Chris Davies

Nine out of 10 homebuyers want more detailed information on the flood risk of a property before they make a commitment to buy, according to a survey by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Now the trade association is calling for this upfront information to be given alongside the details of the property, so that homebuyers can make up their own mind at the first opportunity.

As it currently stands there is no flood risk information for properties or locations on the major property search websites, despite a whole host of other detailed information. For example, buyers can find out about school catchment areas, crime statistics and even the most commonly read newspapers in the local area.

The ABI also found a lack of flood risk information on brochures for new build properties. Research of sales material in 50 of the highest flood risk areas in England and Wales, many of which have been hit by serious flooding in recent years, found none included any warnings about flood risk.

The organisation said that to improve awareness of flood risk estate agents and property search websites should automatically provide traffic-light style information indicating flood risk for the locations of the homes they list. It also said that flood risk information should be provided in the marketing for new build properties.

ABI director General Huw Evans said:“Flooding can ruin a home, destroying valuable possessions and often force you to move out while repairs are made. A higher risk of flooding also tends to mean higher insurance premiums.

“With one in six homes at risk of flooding, we need to make thinking about flood risk as much part of the home buying process as school catchment areas and transport links. At the moment, information on whether a property is at risk of flooding comes too late, often when people have already invested hundreds if not thousands of pounds in the conveyancing process.

“That’s why we are calling for those who sell properties to include new traffic light warnings on flood risk in a property’s area. You can currently get more information about what paper your new neighbours might read than if a particular property might be at flood risk.”