At uSwitch, we’ve been doing some research around how consumers are being impacted by the ever-increasing costs of buying a home. With the average age of first-time buyers now hitting 34, more and more people are finding new ways to get onto the property ladder. These include shared ownership properties, asking parents for a deposit, taking a second job and buying ‘off plan’ homes.
It’s the last point that’s of interest to me, as the government has often talked about the need to build more homes as the needs of Britain’s population changes. For example, we now need to accommodate a higher population, with more people getting divorced and many more people choosing to live alone. But did you know that up to 1 million homes being built between now and 2020 will be built on flood plains? The intention would be to offer these homes at a cheaper rate as a result.
So what is a flood plain? According to the Environment Agency, it’s an area of land that is more susceptible to flooding or has flooded before. Our research shows that 62% of people do not know whether or not their home is on a flood plain. This is a big deal for homeowners, as the cost of the average claim as a result of flood damage is £28,000. Just as a comparison, the average burglary claim is around £1000.
So first of all, check if your home is on a flood plain. If you find that it is, it’s essential that you ring your home insurance company to tell them. They may increase your premium or your policy excess, but at least you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ll be covered should your home suffer any flood damage in the future.