Is your home insurance up to the challenge of climate change?

Climate change is increasing the risks to our homes and properties – so is your existing insurance up to the job? Here are a few things to bear in mind.

Thanks to climate change, the impact of extreme weather is growing, bringing increasing risks to our property and possessions. 

According to the Environment Agency, by 2050 the UK could see 59% more winter rainfall and once-a-century sea level events could become annual events by 2100. There is clearly a lot of work that needs to be done, not least in terms of creating more flood-resilient infrastructure, and avoiding new building on flood plains. 

But what about insurance customers?  How can you make sure that your home insurance is up to the challenges of climate change? Insurers are already seeing increasing numbers of weather-related claims. These are most commonly claims relating to storm damage or floods. 

A rising risk of flooding

Most buildings insurance will already cover you for flood damage. If you also have contents insurance then it is likely that your possessions will also be covered in case of floodwater damaging them. In many cases, policies will also cover the cost of accommodation for you and your family if you are forced out of your home. 

It’s worth checking which parts of your property are covered, however, as your buildings insurance might not cover flood damage to all areas. 

Another important caveat affecting most policies is groundwater flooding. This occurs when the ground becomes saturated and the water table rises – in most cases this isn’t covered by your buildings insurance. With more rainfall predicted for the future, it’s a risk that needs to be factored into your plans.

Of course, if you live in a high-risk area for flooding, then the premiums you pay are already likely to be higher. You should still be able to get insurance, as the Government’s Flood Re scheme guarantees that even property owners in high-risk areas can still get insurance against flooding. Most insurers have committed to it. 

Protection against storms

What about storm damage? Repair bills can run into the thousands, so as extreme weather events become more common it’s essential that you are adequately covered. The AA estimates that storms cause around £1 billion worth of damage a year in the UK. 

Again, most home insurance will cover the most common kinds of storm damage. We’re already covered flooding, but typically you’re also protected against damaged roof tiles, or falling trees. 

Despite this, as these extreme weather events increase due to climate change, our advice is to bear in mind the risks of liability and negligence. 

If you lose slates that were already poorly maintained, you’re less likely to be able to claim under your buildings insurance. Or, if an unsafe tree falls onto a neighbour’s property, you’re also likely to be liable. Finally, it’s also worth double-checking if your garden is covered by the home insurance for your property – it often isn’t.

As impacts of climate change intensify, the risks will increase, so it makes sense to double-check or change your policies to make sure you’re adequately covered. 

Our expert team are on hand to offer you any advice and guidance you need, so give us a call today on 01274 515 747 or email us at mail@lwood.co.uk to discuss how we can ensure that you have the cover you need.