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29 Aug 2011

Property-level flood information and availability of insurance in the UK

An estimated 2.3 million homes and 185,000 businesses in England and Wales are at risk of flooding, according to widely cited figures from the Environment Agency.  There is no particular reason to doubt this estimate, and with current trends in climate change and urban development we can probably expect the number of properties at risk to grow.

When it comes to the availability of flood insurance however, the problem is how to agree not just the likelihood of flooding but also the financial severity of potential flood damage to individual properties.  Insurers know that all geographic modelling of flood risk is to some extent generalised, and that in practice many properties in areas of flood risk will have particular characteristics that make them less or more susceptible to damage.