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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Admin on September 07, 2011, 11:59:30 AM

 



Title: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Admin on September 07, 2011, 11:59:30 AM
An incoming resident has raised the question:
As at least part of Summer Road is in an area deemed by the Environmental Agency to be of signficant flood risk on the flood plain, have householders along there had any difficulty getting insurance and what have been their experiences with premiums/companies etc

It strikes me that this would be a useful topic for residents to collect info and exchange views on, not just for Summer Road but elsewhere in the village too.  So please let us know.

As for Church Walk: even in the floods of 1968 (after which the Mole/Ember flood relief work was carried out) the water level did not reach up as far as #6.  We have not had any problem or additional premium for house insurance.
I know that some properties in the High Street - particularly those with entrances below street level - have had some difficulties, but I don't have details.

How about you?


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: rytheman on September 07, 2011, 01:03:09 PM
The Rythe wends its way past dozens of houses in Thames Ditton, then there is the Thames.

Who would have thought that such a massive flood would affect Basingfield Road, though?

All I can say to anyone looking for house insurance is that they should go through a good broker. If one broker doesn't specialise in houses in your area, try another that does. I faced a doubling of my premium with the same company I had been with for 20 years, but slashed even the previous price by going to a broker. One broker who could not beat that price said: "Try us again on renewal, the underwriters are becoming less concerned about streams these days".

If anyone wants to know the broker I use (which isn't local) please send me a message.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: craigvmax on September 08, 2011, 12:08:39 PM
If anyone is stuck I can find out who we use, was slightly trickier on the island although our house is on fairly hefty stilts so fingers crossed we never need to use it!


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: T.A.C on September 11, 2011, 06:16:49 AM
another important question may well be, will hydropower development at teddington weir increase your premiums
when installed, 3 archimedes screws 3m each in circumference, will act as barrier during the big tides, with a possibility of raising the levels between teddington and molesey weir

check out all hydropower developments on the thames at www.rivertac.org and click on the icon, Anglers and hydropower


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: craigvmax on September 13, 2011, 09:34:26 AM
Is there any evidence or case studies showing water levels rising as a result of these in other places TAC?


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Highways Contact on September 13, 2011, 11:12:37 AM
The Environment Agency's forecast flood levels, which are used by Planners for building levels, were revised last year. In the Thames Ditton area they were 8.48m AOD and have now been adjusted to 8.11m AOD. This could be because they felt the original levels were too conservative or flood relief work has reduced flood risk, or a combination of the two. Next to the slip way at the Swann there is a staging post which shows current river levels.

The current level is circa 4.6m AOD and Winter levels rise to as high as 6.6metres AOD. So, the 1000 year plus 20% level is 3.6 metres above the current level.  I think the 2000 flood was over 7 metres AOD.

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/riverlevels/riverstation.aspx?StationId=7246&RegionId=7&AreaId=19&CatchmentId=88

This doesn't really answer your question.....  but when river levels are high and there is a Spring tide, I believe tidal water actually raises leves this side of Teddington ( I.e. water comes over the weir). My insurer doesn't give two hoots about forecast flood levels, which they don't really understand, but would hammer our premiums if there was a flood to our property.
 







Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Admin on September 26, 2012, 09:13:23 AM
House prices could plunge if 200,000 ‘serious flood risk’ properties become uninsurable (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ianmcowie/100020314/house-prices-could-plunge-if-200000-serious-flood-risk-properties-become-uninsurable/), notes the Telegraph in timely fashion, as the subject was raised again at our Open Meeting last night.

The question arises as to what residents can do locally should insurance begin to be refused by commercial insurance companies next year on the basis of flood risk.  Apart from writing to your MP (for the Government has failed to deliver on its pledges to build more flood defences made as counterpart to the insurers maintaining cover), it seems to me that led by a resident of the Deep Blue part of the village, with good connections in the City and an understanding of how insurance brokers and underwriters work, there might be scope for many residents to band together and negotiate a deal with an insurance company.  Delivering a market of several hundred customers would increase negotiating strength.

Now, will someone step forward to pursue that on behalf of all?  An estate agent perhaps?  The support of the Residents' Association, and our media if needed, would be forthcoming.

If you are not sure whether your home is at risk, here is the image from the Environment Agency .  The Deep Blue bits are areas liable to flood without further defences; the light blue bits are those that might flood in extreme flooding (which if I recall correctly is defined as with a probability of once in an hundred years - but that is at present sea levels...):
[url=http://maps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/wiybyController?ep=ajaxmap&topic=floodmap&layerGroups=1%2C&minx=511920.25&maxx=519857.75&miny=164506.16666666666&maxy=169797.83333333334&scale=7][img width=500 height=394]http://residents-association.com/images/flood_risk.jpg[/img][/url]

To get more details or a different area, go  to http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31650.aspx and key in your postcode at top right.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Keith on September 26, 2012, 10:03:21 AM
The flood map is also interesting from the perspective of Thames Ditton's historical development.  You can see that Imber Court,  what became Manor Farm (where Esher College now is) and the area round the Church are dry. Early settlement and construction.  The site of Forde's Farm/Boyle Farm is iffy.  All the area that was known as Ditton Marsh is in the flood plain, a bit of it Deep Blue.  Given that there have been two interpretations of the origin of "marsh" (one of which is the Anglo-Saxon mearc or boundary, but not entirely convincing, the other the wet one) this might tend to favour the marshy one.

You will recall that in the great water-main flood of November 2006, the water gushing out of Basingfield Road  into Station Road headed for the High Street, along that, and down Boyle Farm Road to the river.

The map is also a reminder of why surface water drainage in this area is so problematic!  There's very little fall.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Ratty on September 26, 2012, 01:42:29 PM
Always best to keep graveyards above the water table!


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Ratty on September 26, 2012, 01:57:15 PM
A small sliver of silver lining. The land to the rear of 74-128 Speer Road which the owners are promoting to the council as a plot to build 25 houses on in 5 years would be submerged. Surely the mere fact that it is a possibility should negate its viability for development.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Keith on September 30, 2012, 10:45:54 AM
Just to add that having been with Barclays buildings & contents insurance for twenty years (mortgage days, plus later inertia) I changed this year to a rather better Saga policy at least one-third cheaper.  Barclays came nowhere near to matching it when I challenged them.

It pays to shop around.  Also, I suppose, one of the benefits of being an oldie is cheaper premiums for all except life & health!  However, there was no sign at all that proximity to the flood plain affected the premium (we are just on its edge)


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Keith on September 30, 2012, 10:51:08 AM
Quote from: Ratty on September 26, 2012, 01:57:15 PM
A small sliver of silver lining. The land to the rear of 74-128 Speer Road which the owners are promoting to the council as a plot to build 25 houses on in 5 years would be submerged. Surely the mere fact that it is a possibility should negate its viability for development.


It should - but time and again the pious words about not building on the flood plain (which makes things worse by inhibiting run-off) are paid no more than lip service by the councils, although our own councillors resist strongly.  The officers  produce magnificent lengthy documents, though, with many hours spent drafting things like Surrey's long term environmental policies, which are sagely nodded through by councillors......  But they seem to be just so much paper.

Same for the pious words about infrastructure to cope with increased housing density.  We've had S106 and now the community infrastructure levy, but where are the new drains/sewers/roads/carparks/schools/flood defences to go with them?  Just notional...

And the same for the pious words of governments (both Lab and Con/Lib) promising to invest in the infrastructure for flood defence.

For these things line fewer  pockets, less plushly,  than simply cramming in more residential accommodation then flogging it, financed by vast oceans of debt.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: craigvmax on September 30, 2012, 12:28:59 PM
I have my broker looking into this for us btw, might be too much risk for one company so he is looking at ways around it


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Admin on September 30, 2012, 01:04:27 PM
Excellent.

I make the following assumptions:
- that the current posturing in the media by the insurance companies is an attempt to add pressure to negotiations with government over renewal or delivery of  past commitments to support premiums one way or another;
- that the awful prospect they threaten of "no insurance" is most unlikely to occur: there will always be insurance, it will however be at a price in steep differential premiums for homes in flood risk areas
- that insurance brokers and underwriters recognise a good market when they see one; and
- a few hundred affluent households in our area banding together will represent a worthwhile market for insurance companies.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: tdres on October 01, 2012, 12:02:04 PM
If would have thought a single insurer would be unlikely to want to concentrate their risk in this way.
Eggs and baskets spring to mind.
Good luck with it, though.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Keith on November 26, 2012, 10:14:34 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20491045
"Insurance companies are warning that a lack of progress in talks with the government could leave 200,000 homes without cover against flood damage.
The Association Of British Insurers is discussing how to provide affordable premiums in high-risk areas.
But the Times reports the talks are on "the brink of collapse" because the government is refusing to guarantee an overdraft if funds run out."


Read on...  Meanwhile here, a contact with experience in the industry who kindly got in touch and offered to sound out insurers on some collective arrangement reports ad interim that there seems to be little enthusiasm for small deals on this issue pending the new shape of things (or not) next summer.  Clearly, the government and the ABI are staking out their negotiating positions and have not yet reached the point of compromise.  All very worrying to those who fear they may not be able to get reasonable insurance at all next year - especially those on pensions in their long-owned homes in the flood plain.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: craigvmax on November 26, 2012, 01:27:01 PM
yup ours was tricky this year. Water is currently v close to our garden so crossing a lot of fingers at moment.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Juninho on November 26, 2012, 01:30:15 PM
Have you had to put up any defences just in case?

Though actually I assume most houses on the island have some regardless?

Quote from: craigvmax on November 26, 2012, 01:27:01 PM
yup ours was tricky this year. Water is currently v close to our garden so crossing a lot of fingers at moment.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: craigvmax on November 26, 2012, 03:15:49 PM
some have floodguard pumps and most, if not all are raised up. Ours is one of the newer ones so in accordance with new regs its almost a metre high on stilts.

We'd be extremely unlucky to have water in the house, much of Riversdale rd would be flooded too if so I'd imagine.

If it gets in the garden its not the end of the world but would damage lighting etc and make a hell of a mess.

In all honesty though, if its coming in, there isnt a lot you can do about it as far as I can see.

Have to take the bad bits with the good.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Redders on November 26, 2012, 10:35:01 PM
At least 8 insurances companies would not insure our home. Although we are next to the Rythe, eventually after many phone calls we got one.

The Rythe has been up and down all weekend, but has risen to the heights it got to last year.



Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: rytheman on November 26, 2012, 11:18:14 PM
Quote from: Redders on November 26, 2012, 10:35:01 PM
At least 8 insurances companies would not insure our home. Although we are next to the Rythe, eventually after many phone calls we got one.

The Rythe has been up and down all weekend, but has risen to the heights it got to last year.


The Rythe was up about 2 feet on Friday and back down 18 inches by Saturday, it's nothing compared to pre-screen.

I am so glad I pressed for the screen to be installed behind the Angel. Clearly many tree branches have been fished out there as well as a green sack.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Juninho on December 04, 2012, 01:31:10 PM
Our household insurance renewal quote has gone up by about £60 from last year - I don't really have the time to shop around this year so just went ahead with it as I guess its not too bad (though I prefer insurance renewals to go down!!).

When I spoke to the broker (who sent us the renewal) I got told that its getting tougher and tougher to find companies that will ensure properties within a quarter of a mile of the river - does not bode well for the future especially if there is a flooding incident.





Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Admin on February 01, 2013, 12:28:20 PM
Here's a flood protection update (http://residents-association.com/pdfs/flood_protection_update_Jan2013.pdf) from the Environment Agency on the Lower Thames property protection scheme.

Residents concerned about flood protection of houses in this area should note that they may attend an EA meeting on 8 February at St Nicholas' Church Hall:

LOWER THAMES PROPERTY FLOOD PROTECTION SCHEME 
Elmbridge Resident’s Information Event

Friday 8th February 2013 (revised date)

You are invited to discover more about property flood protection within the Borough of Elmbridge;  register for the scheme;  meet the project team and see examples of the free flood protection products offered.

Please drop-in between 3pm and 8pm at St. Nicholas Church Hall, Summer Road, Thames Ditton


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Keith on February 07, 2013, 11:08:38 AM
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2274482/Insurers-warns-building-flood-plains-curbed-defences-improved-homes-cover.html#axzz2K2MgKtNy

"....people living in areas at risk of flooding will no longer be able to insure their home unless the Government spends more on defences and curbs building on flood plains....The Association of British Insurers (ABI) warned ..... that a rigorous planning system was needed to prevent building on flood plains as well as increased spending on traditional defences."

Reminder: local flood defence drop-in session tomorrow, Friday @ Church Hall pm see above.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: rytheman on February 07, 2013, 11:02:01 PM
Quote from: Juninho on December 04, 2012, 01:31:10 PM
Our household insurance renewal quote has gone up by about £60 from last year - I don't really have the time to shop around this year so just went ahead with it as I guess its not too bad (though I prefer insurance renewals to go down!!).


Apart from the circumstance of the Thames being close, I'm glad to see you use a broker to review your renewal for the best deal. Many insurance companies are owned by private equity and one method they use to push up profits is always to load renewal quotes ludicrously, to the extent that a loyal customer will pay more than a new one. Always check your renewal.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: rytheman on March 07, 2013, 10:52:38 AM
Update: I just renewed my insurance which had gone down quite a bit even though it was the same insurer (Allianz) through my broker. (This date is a reminder of when I must have exchanged contracts on my first home!).

In the renewal documentation, the broker stresses it is important to renew on time as, should the insurance lapse, it could prove difficult and expensive to get cover, even with the same people.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Admin on March 26, 2013, 08:00:49 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/insurance/9955739/Disappointment-at-failure-to-reach-flood-insurance-deal.html

but

"..the existing deal - which was due to expire in June - would be extended "as a temporary measure" while talks are ongoing."


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Juninho on March 27, 2013, 09:12:18 AM
Dominic Raab raised the issue of flood and house insurance for debate yesterday.

I meant to see if I could watch it (as it was on during lunch) but the day ran away from me.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/backbench-business-committee/news/debate-on-flood-insurance/

The parliment website is really good - here is a full transcript of teh debate:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130326/debtext/130326-0002.htm#13032655000003



Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: rytheman on April 04, 2013, 02:38:27 PM
Quote from: Juninho on March 27, 2013, 09:12:18 AM
Dominic Raab raised the issue of flood and house insurance for debate yesterday.

I meant to see if I could watch it (as it was on during lunch) but the day ran away from me.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/backbench-business-committee/news/debate-on-flood-insurance/

The parliment website is really good - here is a full transcript of teh debate:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130326/debtext/130326-0002.htm#13032655000003


Quote:
the cost to businesses and consumers of the inefficient green subsidies to solar and onshore wind through the renewables obligation will be £2.6 billion this financial year. That is almost as much as the DEFRA will spend on flooding and coastal defences over the entire five-year period of this Parliament. Those are skewed priorities. The Government ought to place greater emphasis on adapting to the reality of climate change—the environmental here and now—and spend less time speculating on technological winners that hike energy bills, particularly for the squeezed middle, without substantially decarbonising the UK economy.

That points to a more systemic, bureaucratic problem, namely the lack of policy coherence between the Department of Energy and Climate Change and DEFRA since they were separated in 2008 by the previous Government. Too often, DEFRA feels like DECC’s more realistic but poorer cousin...


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Keith on April 05, 2013, 02:09:05 PM
Lack of coherence is just one of the government's problems!


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Admin on June 28, 2013, 08:05:09 AM
As predicted here, after the  face-off an agreement has been reached between Govt. and insurers: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/insurance/buildingsandcontent/10145637/Relief-for-flood-risk-homes-as-insurance-deal-is-reached.html

"new agreement follows years of negotiations and will replace the current 'Statement of Principles' that expires at the end of July.

Around 200,000 homes in most danger of flooding could have been made uninsurable if a new deal had not been reached while more than five million people in England and Wales live and work in properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea.

The deal, known as Flood Re, would cap flood insurance premiums, linking them to council tax bands so households will know the maximum they will have to pay. Premiums will be capped at £210 a year for households in council tax bands A and B, rising to £540 a year for homes in band G.

It will be funded by a £10.50 levy on every household in the country with insurance cover."


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: craigvmax on June 28, 2013, 09:17:16 AM
good to know, thank you


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: walnut on July 02, 2013, 03:26:35 PM
I've just had the pleasure (?) of reading the government paper on this and just thought that I would mention that there are a couple of important exemptions that will apply to the proposed Flood Re scheme. 

(1) Properties in the top council tax band (band H) will be excluded from the Flood Re cover, as will new homes built after January 2009.

(2) It is also possible that properties deemed to be at "extremely high risk" of flooding (not defined but reference is made to properties where flood damage is to be expected every year or two) will also be excluded.

So the Flood Re scheme is good news for homeowners generally, BUT, if you have a very big expensive house, a newish house or one that is damaged by flood every year or so you may still have to obtain cover on a "risk based" basis and the proposed cap on premiums will not apply.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Admin on July 02, 2013, 03:44:49 PM
Quote from: walnut on July 02, 2013, 03:26:35 PM
......

(1) Properties in the top council tax band (band H) will be excluded from the Flood Re cover, as will new homes built after January 2009.

(2) It is also possible that properties deemed to be at "extremely high risk" of flooding (not defined but reference is made to properties where flood damage is to be expected every year or two) will also be excluded.
....


Many thanks for this, walnut.

The exclusion of new homes built after January 2009 is significant - so many planning approvals are given by Elmbridge for new homes on the 100 year flood plain that I think this particular point needs bringing up to planning policy makers....  It seems quite likely that insurers will demand exorbitant premiums for such houses or may refuse insurance altogether as being business not worth the risk and hassle.


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: walnut on July 02, 2013, 04:27:56 PM
Agreed - but I think I am right in saying that new builds since January 2009 were excluded from the ABI Statement of Principles that has been extended for the short term and that the new Flood Re will replace in time.  So it isn't a hugy policy change.

If it helps, the relevant bit of the DEFRA June 2013 Consultation Paper (Securing the future availabilty and affordability of home insurance on areas of flood risk) states at page 39:

"Tighter controls on development in areas of flood risk were introduced as part of Planning Policy Statement 25, and subsequently with the National Planning Policy Framework.  To reinforce planning policy, and avoid inappropriate development in flood risk areas the Statement of Principles excludes new development since January 2009.  It is proposed that new homes built after January 2009 would similarly be excluded from the Flood Re pool."

Sorry, all a bit dry for a Tuesday afternoon, maybe I should go back to the tennis...


Title: Re: Flood risk and House insurance
Post by: Keith on December 30, 2013, 10:14:13 AM
DT today:  " The Flood Protection Association, an industry body, warned that flooding is being made worse by developers building on flood plains to cater for an expanding population.

Mary Dhonau, the group’s chairwoman said more than 2,000 properties were approved on flood plains this year despite official objections, and added: “It is absolutely barking mad to build on a flood plain when there are so many other places that could be built on.” "


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