Even 10 Downing Street is at risk on new Environmental Agency flood maps.
New Environmental Agency maps were released in December 2013 showing even more properties at risk from flooding – over 3 million in the UK are at risk from flashing flooding alone. There are those properties that are more prominently at risk such as those next to rivers or on the coast but most people are unaware of the serious risk of flash flooding and surface water flooding. The early New Year floods in January highlighted the subject when many parts of the UK were hit by severe weather conditions resulting in extensive flooding throughout.
Flash flooding is a major risk, especially in urban areas, which most people would not expect to be at high risk. It happens when water gets to an often dated drainage system far too quickly from buildings and other structures and results in flooding on the roads and surrounding areas.
Homeowners are now able to check the risk via the new maps on the Environmental Agency website here. However this is going to prove an even more problematical situation when it comes to flood insurance and coverage. Many properties that were deemed before as being low or moderate risk are now classed in the higher risk category.
The government is currently bringing forward a new insurance scheme with the Association of British Insurers where a premium on all policies ensures people in high risk areas can obtain affordable insurance, however in practice insurers are still reluctant to offer full flood cover, unless prevention measures have been made or very high excesses negotiated.
Insurers are very aware of the risk of flooding and use extensive modelling and mapping systems to access the potential damage that flooding can cause and although measures have been exchanged with the government, most standard insurers are still reluctant to offer flood cover in high risk areas. Associated claim costs are often extremely high and where properties are located next to commonly flooded areas, there is frequently nothing that can be done.