Almost half a million households have now benefited from Flood Re.

July 11, 2022

Today Flood Re published its Annual Report & Accounts which revealed that:

  • Flood Re continues to deliver on its availability and affordability objectives across the UK. A total of 256,634 policies were backed by Flood Re this year, an 18% increase from 2021.
  • Almost half a million households (479,000) have now benefited from the Scheme since 2016.
  • Following its introduction in April 2022, over 50% of the highest flood risk householders will be able to access Build Back Better provisions by the end of the year
  • Despite a relatively dry year, the results mark the one-year anniversary of the devastating floods in Germany, Belgium and London, with climate change set to increase the frequency and severity of floods in the future.
  • Flood Re calls for urgent action among government, insurers and consumers to adapt ahead of its legislated exit from the market in 2039. This includes continued success and take-up of Build Back Better and reforms to the UK planning system as part of the Levelling up & Regeneration Bill.

Flood Re, the joint initiative between the UK insurance industry and the UK Government that exists to promote the availability and affordability of flood insurance, has reported strong financial and operational performance for the year ending 31 March 2022, with profit before tax of £132m.

The Scheme also reported a steady increase in the number of policies ceded to the Scheme, rising by 18% from the previous financial year to 256,634. Nearly half a million (479,000) householders have benefited from policies backed by Flood Re since its launch while 4 out of 5 of those with previous flood claims have seen a price reduction in their insurance premium of more than 50% since the Scheme’s inception in 2016.

This financial year also saw the introduction of Flood Re’s world-first Build Back Better initiative, designed to reduce the cost and impact of future floods by including property resilience measures as part of flood repairs. Over 50% of the highest flood risk householders will now be able to access Build Back Better provisions by the end of the year through participating insurers (Aviva, LV=, NFU Mutual, Ageas and Lloyds Banking Group), with wider support expected in the future.

Working towards 2039

By law Flood Re will exit the market in 2039, by which point climate change is predicted to have led to more frequent and more severe cases of flooding. While 2021/22 was a relatively dry year, high profile floods in London and elsewhere in Europe highlight the urgent need to adapt to a warmer and wetter planet, and to ensure the continued provision of home insurance post-transition.

Flood Re’s Annual Report highlights the need for collaborative action with insurers and government to create a risk-reflective market before this deadline, namely:

  1. Continue to build on the success of Build Back Better: Flood Re is confident that with continued support from insurers, Build Back Better will increasingly become a standard component of household insurance and have a profound impact on reduced costs of future flooding events.
  2. Promote property flood resilience (PFR) and flood performance certificates: Flood Re is working to normalise resilience measures, but more innovative public-private partnerships are also needed to encourage take-up and provide the right behavioural nudges to homeowners. 
  3. Reform UK planning policies to reflect growing flood risk: The Levelling up & Regeneration Bill presents a once in a generation opportunity to improve the resilience of the UK housing stock. Flood Re is calling for reform that places greater emphasis on flood protection during the initial construction of new homes to ensure they are built with flood risk in mind.

Flood Re is benefiting more people than ever before. But, with our exit from the market fast approaching, wake up calls should be ringing for government and insurers as there is significant progress still needed to ensure the market remains accessible in just 17 years’ time.  

As climate change drives damaging and unpredictable weather, ensuring that the right homes are built in the right locations to the right standard is the biggest single step we can take as a nation to prepare and adapt. This must be combined with urgent and coordinated action to encourage the take-up of property flood resilience measures.

Andy Bord, CEO, Flood Re