Agents demand improved flood insurance cover for buy to let sector

6 May 2021 | Renting

Agents demand improved flood insurance cover for buy to let sector

Propertymark has waded in to the debate over flood prevention measures in the UK:il it wants insurance for homeowners and landlords faced with possible future flood damage.

The government has just concluded a flood prevention consultation which looked at measures, known collectively as Property Flood Resilience.

Specifically, the government and agents agree that one sensible option is to extend the current Flood Re initiative, which is jointly undertaken by government and insurers. 

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Flood Re was launched in 2016 to help address the lack of affordable insurance for households at high risk of flooding; the consultation was over the government’s objective to ensure that repair work does not simply restore properties to their pre-flood condition, but also makes them more resilient than before to future water damage. 

In its response to the consultation, Propertymark says it recognises the intention to encourage uptake of Property Flood Resilience among households at high risk across the UK, but concerns remain about Flood Re. 

“It is not managing to cover all the properties the scheme was designed to include, and some landlords are unable to get a mortgage without the likelihood of cover” says Propertymark.

Under Build Back Better, leasehold properties are excluded, which will not ensure that the condition and standards of all properties are maintained and improved. 

Propertymark adds: “Additionally, Buy to Let property is not covered by Flood Re insurance subsidy, and therefore insurance is expensive for thousands of landlords. If landlords in high flood risk areas cannot afford the premiums, this could lead to the abandonment of property, a reduction in housing stock, and added pressure on local housing markets.”

The organisation’s policy and campaigns manager, Timothy Douglas, says: “Propertymark is concerned that by offering discounted premiums to householders with policies ceded to Flood Re who have taken steps to install Property Flood Resilience, this will continue to create a two-tier market for Flood Re insurance. 

“In order that more people can benefit from Flood Re it is vital that the UK government ensure that the scheme is extended, and insurance is provided at reasonable rates to private landlords, leaseholders, and small businesses.

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.