Water

Flood prevention

Flooding is currently one of the biggest issues in the insurance industry. Many
professionals note that people are hesitant about building their properties in a more
resilient and resistant way because of the industry’s bad reputation. A discussion
with an experienced insurance expert highlights that there are two major reasons
why trust in flood prevention measures is so low: firstly, flood risk assessments are
often not done effectively or by qualified professionals; secondly, because of climate
change, a property that was perfectly safe a couple of years ago can now be located in a flood risk area.

 

As a consequence, frequent property reconstructions lead to materials, resources and energy (both physical and mental) being wasted. To introduce sustainability and minimise the damage caused by floods, awareness needs to be spread to make flood resistance (preventing the water to enter the property) and resilience (reducing the effect of water that has entered the property) the new standard. Perhaps the most essential strategy to achieve this, which some companies are already pushing forward, is attaching a flood rating to the property (for example on a A-D scale), similarly to the regularly used energy rating. This could surely increase transparency and help customers to better understand risks associated with the property and measures that should be taken.


Additionally, as the demand for additional housing grows, new properties are often
being built in flood-prone environments, whether that is by the sea, river or in urban
areas where drainage systems may not provide suitable expansion infrastructure.
Since 2009, around 70,000 thousand homes had been built in such areas, of which
almost one third lacked flood defences. Recent UK government direction requires
that new properties be built only if they are flood-proofed. A solution to this problem
could be building amphibious houses - a type of living that contributes to better
cohabitation of people with the natural environment. These houses are able to rise
up and float on the water once there is a flood, mounted in a dock-like post which
prevents them from moving. However, there are other environmentally-beneficial
solutions which can decrease the flood risk in flood-prone areas as well, such as the
restoration of the natural course of rivers and planting more trees.