The likelihood of flooding may have an effect on home insurance in your area. An insurance company may ask you for more information about flood likelihood by asking you for an Insurance Related Request Letter.
What to do if insurers request further information about your property
An Insurance Related Request (IRR) is a letter which some insurance companies ask for to help them consider whether they will renew your housing insurance or give you a new quote.
The standard IRR provides information about:
- whether your property falls within or outside the area at risk of flooding
- whether there are any defences in the area and the standard of protection that they provide
- how likely flooding is, taking into account any risk management measure such as flood defence barriers in the area
- whether there are any plans for flood risk management measures in the area
You can request an IRR from our enquiries team. Please include the full address of the property and a contact telephone number. And if possible, please provide a map. The team will respond to you within 20 working days.
An IRR is free for the public. Requests by commercial interests such as a solicitor will incur a £50 (plus VAT) charge.
Struggling to get insurance?
If you are finding it difficult to get insurance you could try:
- Talking to one of the brokers who specialise in properties that are difficult to insure. You should be able to find these brokers in the Yellow Pages, on the British Insurance Brokers' Association website or by calling the broker helpline on 0870 950 1790.
- Contacting the ABI, who may be able to offer you advice.
- Contacting the National Flood Forum (NFF) - an independent, grassroots organisation, which offers support to those affected by flooding.
- Defra's new comprehensive guide to help owners of property in high flood risk areas to find suitable flood insurance.
Obtaining flood insurance in high risk areas (PDF, 884KB)
- Our flood risk and information sheet which provides answers to common questions.
Flood risk and insurance information sheet (PDF, 100KB)
Flood Risk ReportIf you have fitted resistance or resilience measures to your property, a standard template for recording the flood risk is now available. The insurance industry recognise the Flood Risk Report as a standard approach for presenting the flood risk of a property, provided a professional, suitably qualified, independent surveyor has completed it. Insurers may take into account the information and flood protection measures when assessing the terms they will offer for continued or new cover.
We developed the Flood Risk Report with Defra, Association of British Insurers, British Insurance Brokers Association, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, National Flood Forum and the Law Society.
We're encouraging lead local flood authorities and Environment Agency teams to complete this report and hand this to residents when they have fitted property level protection products.
Our work with the insurance industry
We assist Government in their work with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to support the insurance industry's commitment to continue to offer flood risk insurance to the vast majority of homes and businesses in flood risk areas.
Although we do not have a role in determining insurance cover, we do share a common goal with the ABI to improve flood mapping and provide the best available information to the public.
We do this by making information from the national assessment of the likelihood of flooding, from rivers and the sea available to ABI members. This assessment takes account of flood defences, and there is strict guidance on how insurers can use it.
Insurers use our information alongside their own data and other relevant information customers may provide to make an assessment of whether they can provide insurance cover and under what terms.
The existing agreements between the English and Welsh Governments and the ABI on the provision of flood risk insurance (known as the Statement of Principles) are due to expire in June 2013. The future direction of flood insurance is a matter for the Governments and the ABI to discuss.
Are you in an area at risk of flooding?
Anyone can access the same information that is available to insurance companies by using our Flood Map. You can find out what the likelihood of flooding from rivers and the sea is in your local area.