When it comes to a flood risks, clients can be left feeling lost and confused by some of the questions being asked by an underwriter. Although these questions seem daft, each one is relevant for the underwriter to make a fair assessment regarding the risk property. Flood claims (including Escape of Water) bring some of the biggest claims as the damage can be extensive so if you live in a flood risk area or your property has previously flooded the underwriter will ask you a number of questions, such as:
- Has your property ever flooded? – Whether your client is buying a new property or looking to insure an existing one, this is something they should always know. If the property has flooded the underwriter will need to determine if this is an isolated incident to the risk property or the wider area. If this is an isolated incident, what has been done to prevent this in the future?
- Is your property in an area with a history of flooding? – Some insurers will look at the whole area in which your property is situated. All insurers will rate your postcodes differently as it will depends on their own experience, claims in that area and national databases relating to claims. An insurer will ask the question about the area because if your client lives in a high risk area, they need to know where the property is situated and the likelihood in which the property will be affected by a flood.
Subsidence, Ground Heave and Landslip
Along with flood claims, the movement of any property can result in large claims so it is very important that an insurer knows any details regarding the property and any movement that has occurred. There are a number of questions an underwriter will ask relating to movement and there are as follows:
- Is the property free from signs of Subsidence, Ground Heave and Landslip and has not been underpinned. – The underwriter will ask about any movement the property has suffered in the past and will also make sure that there currently isn’t anything that suggests any movement currently, if so the underwriter can tailor a policy to suit the client and give the cover they require. If you have suffered from movement and the property is underpinned the underwriter will require certificate of structural adequacy to show the underwriter all work has been completed to the building regulations.
- Is your property in an area with a history of subsidence, ground heave and landslip? – Just like the flood questions the underwriters will rate your area based on their own experience, their claims and the any national databases they have available to them. If your client lives in an area of property movement they may ask for a Survey to be completed to ensure the property in insured correctly. This is always a great document to have if you live in a high risk area as it is provides all the information an insurer needs to make the correct decision.
- Are there any trees or shrubs within 200m of the property? – In a high risk movement area this is very important. Trees and shrubs can cause damage to your property and its foundations. The roots of these trees can penetrate the building work/foundations causing them to be unstable, resulting in the property suffering from movement. Another issue is that any large trees close to the property will draw most of the water out of the ground, leaving the ground brittle which will also cause movement.
Whatever the risk, we can help. Whether you live in a high risk area, have suffered from flood or subsidence we work with a panel of insurers that will look at each property individually, putting the client’s requirements first. Working with such a large panel mean we can find the correct policy, from the correct insurer for the correct price.