Flood Search - Flood Risk Report

As anyone who watches the news will know, problems caused by flooding in Britain are on the increase. As a result, insurers are becoming nervous about covering properties in areas known to be at high risk from flooding. To assist with the situation, the government had previously been prepared to underwrites certain losses suffered by insurers in order that they would continue to insure high risk properties.

Around a year ago however the government decided that it would no longer underwrite losses. Since that announcement, there has been further discussion which may ultimately result in a U-turn but in the meantime the risk remains. The effects if the government chooses to withdraw its support may be that properties in certain areas are unable to obtain buildings and contents insurance against flood damage. This would obviously have an affect on the value of the property in question and may make it impossible to obtain a mortgage on it.

What is a flood risk report?

Quite simply, this is an assessment as to how likely it is that the property you're intending to purchase will suffer from flooding at some point in the future. It is not based on a physical inspection but rather, on historical data available to the report provider.

What will the flood risk report tell me?

The flood risk report will tell you what level of risk there is that the property might be flooded. the levels of risk range from minimal to very high. The report takes into account risks from surface water, groundwater,coastal and river flooding. The report will also tell you whether it is likely that the property will be insurable against on normal terms.

Ordering the Flood risk report

There are various companies which will supply flood risk reports. We have partnered with a reputable specialist search company to make ordering a flood risk report easier, click link to order.

What if I am familiar with the area and know that it has never flooded?

Obviously having local knowledge is an advantage and may render a flood search unnecessary however, it is worth bearing in mind that insurers will not have local knowledge and when assessing whether they are prepared to insure and what premium they will charge, they will look at data which is representative of a wider area than the individual property in question. For example, the property you are interested in may be at the top of the hill, but will the insurers take this into account if the surrounding areas at the bottom of the hill are subject to high levels of flooding? You may find that they will not, particularly since many insurers use automated systems to generate quotes.

Even where a purchaser does not request a flood report, conveyancers who are also acting for a mortgage lender may consider that it is essential to satisfy the CML Handbook requirement to carry out "all necessary searches and enquiries".

How do I know if I should carry out a flood risk report?

Most conveyancing search providers will now indicate when ordering the searches when they consider that the property is in an area for which a flood risk report ought to be carried out. This guidance ought to be followed.

How will I interpret the report?

Purchasers should be aware that their conveyancer will not be able to advise them on the result of the report. This is because conveyancers are not experts in this field. The information on the report is however designed to be easily understood by the general public therefore interpreting the report should be reasonably straightforward.