If your home is a flood risk, Flood Re helps you access affordable home insurance.
What is the Flood Re scheme?
Typically, homes in high flood-risk areas are much more expensive and difficult to insure.
But without any insurance in place, the cost of flooding can be severe - from lost family heirlooms and ruined furnishings to damaged building foundations.
Flood Re is a scheme that works with insurers to help cover the risk involved, so that you can access affordable financial protection for your home.
- Flood Re helps flood-prone households by making home insurance more available and affordable
- To benefit, your home needs to meet certain requirements including being built before 2009
- Flood Re works in the background, so you can just buy home insurance as normal
- Insurers can be reimbursed for the cost of flood-related claims from the Flood Re fund
How does Flood Re work?
Owned and managed by the insurance industry and as part of a joint initiative with the UK government, Flood Re is what’s known as a reinsurance scheme.
It helps insurance providers to cover homes at high risk of flooding by protecting them against the increased likelihood and cost of flood claims.
As a result, insurers can offer more affordable home insurance premiums to people living in flood-risk areas.
To fund the scheme, every home insurance provider in the UK must pay a levy each year. If a property is eligible for Flood Re, the insurer must also pay a fixed premium based on its council tax band.
The Flood Re fund is then used to reimburse insurers for any flood-related claims from these homes.
Why was Flood Re created?
According to Flood Re, one in six properties in the UK is now at higher risk of flooding than ever before. And the Environment Agency has estimated that more than 5.2 million homes and properties in England are at risk from flooding.
Flood related claims would typically mean high insurance premiums for properties in flood-risk areas. And these homeowners would often be left with far fewer providers to choose from.
Flood Re was launched in 2016 to improve the availability and affordability of home insurance for those people affected.
Flood Re found that before the scheme, only 9% of households with a previous flood claim could get quotes from two or more insurers.
But the introduction of the scheme has meant that 97% of these homes can now get quotes from five or more insurers - allowing them to shop around for the right cover at a sensible price.
Who is eligible for Flood Re?
If your home is in a high-risk flood area it’s likely to qualify, but it will also need to meet all eight of the Flood Re requirements.
Your home must be:
- Located in the UK (excluding the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands)
- Covered by an insurance contract held in the name of, or in trust for, one or more individuals or by the personal representative of an individual
- Insured on an individual basis or have an individual premium
- Built before 1 January 2009
- Used for private, residential purposes
- Occupied for some or all of the time
- In domestic council tax band A to H
- A single residential unit or a building made up of two or three residential units
You can also use the Flood Re tool to check whether the scheme can help you.
Who isn’t eligible?
There are some situations where even if your property is in flood-risk area it won’t be eligible for Flood Re, these include:
- Properties built after 1 January 2009
- Blocks of more than three residential flats
- Bed and breakfast premises paying business rates
- Housing association properties
- Social housing properties (these would be eligible for contents cover but not buildings cover)
- Company owned houses or flats
- Farm outbuildings
How is Flood Re different from flood insurance?
Flood Re acts as reinsurance for home insurance providers - so they can protect themselves against financial losses from flood claims.
When you take out home insurance for a property in a flood-risk area, the cover you receive will be provided by your insurance provider.
So any claim you might need to make will need to be done directly through your insurer using their normal claims process.
If your home is eligible for Flood Re, your insurer will automatically be reimbursed by the scheme’s fund for any flood-related payout they provide to you.
How do I buy insurance with Flood Re?
Check your eligibility
First of all, it’s a good idea to check whether your home qualifies for the scheme using the Flood Re eligibility tool.
Enter your details
When you enter your details, we’ll give you a list of providers to choose from that offer cover using the Flood Re scheme.
We’ll help you compare home insurance policies, so you can find the right cover for your needs.
Buy your insurance as normal
Your insurer will decide whether to use Flood Re for your policy, all you need to do is choose which provider you use.
How do I make a claim with Flood Re?
You’ll simply need to follow your home insurance provider’s normal claims process.
If your flooding claim results in a payout, your insurer will pay this to you directly.
Flood Re will then reimburse your insurance provider separately for this cost.
Which insurers are part of Flood Re?
In September 2023, the following insurers were offering the Flood Re scheme – but it's up to them to decide if they can offer you a Flood Re policy:
- Avantia (HomeProtect)
- Aviva Home Insurance
- Bank of Scotland
- British Gas
- Chelsea Building Society
- Cherish Insurance Services
- Clydesdale Bank
- Covéa Insurance
- Direct Line
- First Direct Home Insurance
- Flood Assist
- Haven Insurance
- Hiscox Home Insurance
- HSBC Home Insurance
- John Lewis Specialist Home Insurance – underwritten by Covéa Insurance
- Leek United Building Society
- Lloyd & Whyte
- Lloyds Bank
- Marks & Spencer Bank
- More Than
- Natwest – underwritten by UK Insurance Limited
- NFU Mutual
- Norwich & Peterborough Building Society
- Nottingham Building Society
- Oak Underwriting
- Pen Underwriting
- Policy Expert
- Plum Underwriting
- RBS – underwritten by UK Insurance Limited
- RSA Insurance Group
- Sainsbury’s Bank
- Santander Home Insurance – administered and underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited
- Sheilas’ Wheels
- The West Brom
- Yorkshire Bank
- Yorkshire Building Society
Does Flood Re lower the cost of home insurance?
Your insurance provider will decide the cost of your insurance premiums. But if you live in a flood-risk area, Flood Re means it can charge much less than it would do otherwise.
This is because your insurer can be reimbursed from the Flood Re fund for any flooding-related claim costs.
According to Flood Re (for the year ending 31 March 2023), the scheme meant four out of five homes with previous flood claims saw their premiums reduce by more than 50%.
Frequently asked questions
The money for the Flood Re fund is raised in three ways. The first is a levy that every home insurer must pay each year. This provides the fund with £135 million which is used for managing the scheme and reimbursing insurers for valid claims.
When Flood Re accepts a flood-risk home, the insurer is also charged a fixed premium which is based on the property’s council tax band. And finally, there’s an excess of £250 that the policyholder must pay towards the cost of the claim.
Flood Re is designed to help people insure their homes, so it can’t be used for commercial or business properties.
However, it can be used for buildings cover or combined home insurance if your property meets the eligibility criteria and is used as a B&B (but not paying business rates), as a buy to let property, or as a holiday home.
Similarly, if you’re a tenant who’s renting in a flood-risk area, you can use the scheme for contents insurance if the property is eligible for Flood Re. But you should make sure that your landlord has buildings insurance.
Yes, if your property has a shed and outbuildings these can be considered as part of your home.
So if your home qualifies for Flood Re, these structures can be covered too - even if the outbuildings were built after January 2009.
However, the shed or outbuildings mustn’t fall into a different council tax band to your home.
Build Back Better is part of the Flood Re initiative and is a scheme designed to help homeowners repair their home after a flood.
It works by helping with the cost of adding flood resilience measures to your home, up to the value of £10,000. This can be on top of any payout you might receive from your insurer. You’ll need to check whether your insurer is participating in the scheme and the conditions.
These measures can include adding protection like airbrick covers and flood barriers for doors, which can give you more time to move valuables out of harm’s way.
Flood Re was created between the insurance industry and the UK government through The Water Act 2014. Designed to last for 25 years, Flood Re is scheduled to end in 2039.
The aim is that once Flood Re ends, home insurance will remain available and affordable to households in flood-risk areas.
This is partly because, through the Build Back Better scheme and government investment in flood defence measures, homes should be more resilient to flooding.
And by 2039 the intention is that home insurance providers will be basing premiums on the actual flood risk of each property - making pricing fairer.