Many homes have been devastated in recent years by frequent flooding. This is a terrible thing to happen and can have long lasting effects not least of which are not being able to live in your home for a few weeks and having your home insurance premiums bumped up by your provider. However, it seems the problem could become more widespread than ever if government plans are to go ahead.
Residents' groups and home insurance companies are warning the government that new homes could become uninsurable if plans go ahead to build on more flood plains. Over 1.5 million are currently at heightened risk of flooding, says the home insurance industry, and this will increase to 3.5 million should the government go ahead with its current home building plans.
Large scale new home building projects are planned near the Thames Barrier, Ashford and Milton Keynes - areas already with potential for flooding - and are expected to put added stress on drainage systems. Home insurance companies say that areas already designated as high risk could become uninsurable if large numbers of new houses are built around them.
"Planned new development and deteriorating defences could lead to many households and businesses being uninsurable in the future," said a home insurance spokesman. It is "imperative" that the home insurance industry continues to pressure the government on flood protection and is able to ensure cover for businesses and homeowners, he added.
If flood management policies and expenditure remain as they are, the UK could expect to see annual losses from river and coastal flooding increasing by between £1 billion and £20 billion, with localised urban drainage flooding increasing this still further.
Home insurance companies recommend that those in high risk areas ensure they are protected by installing one way valves in drainage systems and having floor boards ready to place against doors.
The Environment Agency can tell you if your home is at risk of flooding.
If you would like to know more about home insurance why not ask AnswerBank Insurance.