What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance is normally included as a standard part of your buildings insurance, but it won’t cover your contents unless you also have a home contents insurance policy.

You might need flood insurance in case of:

  • A river or canal bursting its banks
  • Seawater flooding due to storms and/or a high tide, and
  • Surface water or rapid groundwater flooding as a result of heavy rainfall or a burst pipe

What does flood insurance cover you for?

Flood insurance covers the costs of:

  • Removing debris
  • Professional fees (e.g solicitors, architects and surveyors)
  • Repair or replacement of damaged furniture and belongings
  • Alternative accommodation while you can’t live in your home
  • Drying out, repairing and restoring your property and its fixtures and fittings

Things you might not be covered for

Replacing all your damaged belongings

If you’ve been flooded, you can start cleaning as soon as you like – you don’t need to wait until your insurer has assessed the damage. But, do take photograph of damaged goods and keep samples of things like carpets and furnishings to show your insurer.

When it comes to claiming for damaged belongings, the amount your insurance company will pay out depends on the type of contents insurance you have.

New for old – If you have a ‘new for old’ policy, your insurance company should pay out enough to replace all damaged items with new equivalent items (other than clothes, where there’s usually a deduction for wear and tear). Most policies offer this.

Indemnity cover – If you have this type of policy, you’ll only get the value of your possessions before the flood occurred. So, if your sofa needs replacing at a cost of £2,000, you’ll only get what the old one was worth, which might only be £200.

Alternative accommodation

The amount of cover insurance companies offer for alternative accommodation varies.

Think carefully about the level of cover you take out.

If your cover is too low, you might need to move back into your home before the repairs are finished or foot part of the bill for alternative accommodation.

Do you need flood insurance?

If you’re struggling to find insurance cover that’s affordable, Flood Re might be able to help you.

Flood Re has been set up as a joint government and insurance industry initiative that works behind the scenes to help insurance providers offer more affordable policies to households with eligible properties affected by flooding.

Because of the high cost of clean-up and repairs following a flood, it’s important to have insurance for your home and its contents.

  • If you rent your home, it’s your landlord’s responsibility – not yours – to have buildings insurance.
  • Your mortgage company usually insists on you taking out buildings insurance, which will often include flood cover.
  • Although contents insurance isn’t compulsory, the cost of replacing everything in your home would be so high that it’s almost always a good idea to have contents cover.

Check whether you’re covered in the event of a flood

Check all the details in your buildings and contents insurance policies that relate to flooding and make sure you have enough cover to protect you in the event of a flood.

Even if your insurance isn’t up for renewal, it’s worth checking.

Call your insurance company to query anything you’re not sure about.

New laws mean that it’s up to insurance companies to ask the right questions about what they want to know.

But if your property has a history of flooding, you should inform your insurance company – even if they don’t ask.

The last thing you need is a hitch if you ever need to make a claim

Get specialist help

Use a specialist broker

An insurance broker can help you negotiate with insurers and arrange cover, if your property is not eligible to be included within Flood Re.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) can help you locate an insurance broker who specialises in flood risk.

Brokers don’t normally charge you a fee for their services – they get paid commission by the insurance company instead.

Talk to the National Flood Forum

The National Flood Forum is a national charity giving independent advice on how to go about getting flood risk insurance.

They also publish a list of ‘flood friendly’ insurers.

Call the National Flood Forum on 01299 403055.

Go to the National Flood Forum website.

Know your risk

The more you can find out about the flood risk to your property the better.

Here are some things you can do:

Check your risk on a flood map

Find out whether you’re at risk from river or coastal flooding where you live.

  • If you live in England or Wales, check the flood map on the Environment Agency website.
  • If you live in Scotland, check the flood map on the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency website.
  • If you live in Northern Ireland, check the flood map on the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development website.
  • If you’re insuring a property in Scotland, it’s worth knowing that the Scottish Government does not allow insurance companies to use this information when setting insurance premiums.

Get an ‘insurance-related request’ letter

If you live in England, you can contact your local Environment Agency office to ask for additional information on the level of risk in the area where you live.

Find details of your local Environment Agency office.

You can ask the Environment Agency for what’s known as an insurance-related request letter.

These are free of charge and include details such as:

  • Any planned improvements to reduce flood risk
  • Any dates when the area was previously flooded
  • The most recent National Flood Risk Assessment that was carried out

Find out more about insurance-related request letters on the Environment Agency website.

Pay for a ‘flood risk assessment’

This will help present your risk profile to insurance companies in the best possible light and will highlight things you can do to reduce the risk.

To increase the chance of insurance companies being able to make use of the information, make sure that the survey is as detailed as possible, and includes facts and figures about the level of flood risk to the property.

You can look up companies which can provide an assessment on The Blue Pages directory website and on the Flood Protection Association websiteopens in new window.

Reduce the risk

Be proactive.

Here are things that can be done to reduce your flood risk including:

  • Signing up for flood warnings
  • Joining a flood action group
  • Considering installing products, such as flood boards and air-brick covers, that can keep flood water out of your home
  • Lobbying for improvements to flood defences locally (working with your local authority and get involved in public consultations)
Tempest Restoration 24/7 service


A. Here at Tempest Restoration we have been providing flood restoration services to properties across the UK. In that time we have dealt with water damage of all scales. Over the years have not only been involved in 1000's of small domestic disaster restoration claims but also major incidents from the Cumbrian floods to the Buncefield fire at the oil storage terminal in Hertfordshire. Our continuous investment in the very latest flood drying equipment and technician training enables us to handle professionally any size and scale of flood damage. Our aim is to provide a prompt, professional and reliable disaster restoration service to domestic and commercial property owners.

A. We are fully equipped to clean up flood damage after all types of flood. Over the years we have helped thousands of homeowners and businesses alike recover from Coastal flooding, River flooding, Flash flooding, Groundwater flooding and Sewer flooding. Read our guide on common types of flood water. We are able to deal with all types of water including clean water, grey water (a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to) and black water (water which contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness). Read our guide on common categories of water. Floods can be caused for many different reasons. Heavy rainfall, storm water, river flooding, coastal surges, leaking/burst pipes or human error are all typical causes of flood water in the home or business premises. The source of the ingress isn't always visible neither. Water can trace itself to a point from a large distance away from the entry source. Here at Tempest we have specialist detection equipment for trace and access on water ingression to a property.

A. Flood water can devastate a property. The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface. At this point, the potential damage done to a structure that you may not have been aware of can be large in scale. Or, it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property. Whatever the cause, primary flood damage is just the beginning and you need to act fast to minimise the consequences of secondary damage. Your home is full of porous materials that absorb water like a sponge which will damage structural integrity. Water causes corrosion and damages electrical equipment which can be fatal if not identified. Residual moisture becomes water vapour throughout the building which will condense. If the water is not completely removed it can lead to dry rot and a high risk of microbial growth e.g. mould and bacteria which is damaging to your health and isnt always something visible to the naked eye like typical black mould in a bathroom.

A. After a safety assessment, we look to identify the cause of the water leak or ingress using various tools and equipment. Our experienced team of technicians will look to make a decision on the best course of action for your situation. The next stage utilises advanced water removal equipment followed by rapid drying technology and humidity control to remove the water and moisture from the property.

A. Their are many potential health risks associated with flood water. Apart from the initial potential risk of drowning, the further potential risks to your health very much depend upon the nature of the water. We are able to deal with all types of water including clean water, grey water (a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to) and black water (water which contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness). If there is any possibility of contamination DO NOT TOUCH IT, call Tempest Restoration on 0845 052 4522. Read our guide on common categories of water.

A. Every case is different and their are many factors that make up the scale of damage and repair required due to flood damage of a property. We recommend a site survey to ascertain the level of damage and repair required. Once on site, we are able to quickly advise on the best course of action to bring about the most effective recovery. Our state-of-the-art equipment ensures the remediation process will be thorough, effective and as fast as possible, returning your home or business to normality as quickly as possible. Using the latest technology and with highly experienced technicians, our aim is to complete the restoration in the best way to reduce costs and prevent secondary damage in the future.

A. Every flood is unique and as such the timescale is dependent on many variations and factors. A small scale water leak is usually quiker to repair than large scale flooding caused by a river overflowing. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will assess the damage and act fast and efficiently to provide a tailored and precise response to your properties specific requirements. The use of modern equipment, rapid drying technology and working practise means that your home or business will be safely and quickly returned to normal, minimising disruption and cost.

A. We operate across the UK with technicians available in major towns and cities. Our head office is based in Swaffham, Norfolk where we undertake all our training.

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Unit 3 Jack Boddy Way Swaffham, Norfolk PE37 7HJ

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Phone: 0845 052 4522
General enquiries: info@tempestrestoration.co.uk


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