New flood map sees premiums soar

PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 April 2011

Clevedon seafront

Clevedon seafront

Archant

RESIDENTS living in some areas of Clevedon could see their house insurance premiums rocket after a map showing areas at risk of flooding was updated.

The Environment Agency flood map now shows the whole area to the south of Old Church Road and Old Street as at risk from flooding from sea or rivers since it was updated over the past year.

This has resulted in insurance premiums for the newly-added areas increasing significantly for those wanting comprehensive flood over.

Bev Bodman, who has lived in Old Church Road for four years, saw her premium increase by more than £200 when she came to renew it this month.

She said: “We have always paid over the odds for buildings and contents insurance to ensure adequate cover should the area ever flood.

“This year our renewal was increased by more than £200 to £650.

“Upon checking the Environmental Agency website I find it has been updated to a much larger area of risk and we now find ourselves in the middle of a great blue puddle.”

When using price comparison websites, Mrs Bodman noticed in the small print of any quotes given that it assumes the house in question is not at risk from flooding.

If the policy was then taken out for a house in the new at-risk area and the property flooded, the company is unlikely to pay out.

Mrs Bodman said: “I have gone to neighbours along the road and looked at their policies and they are not covered.

“When you ring and tell companies you are in a flood risk area the premium rockets or they refuse to quote at all.

“They just base it purely on the postcode and don’t take into account the fact that Clevedon has recently had new sea defences installed.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We have carried out an over haul of the flood maps and some have changed quite dramatically to include quite a few more properties.

“At Clevedon a lot of money was spent on a substantial tidal fence scheme. However, that probably would not be taken into account by insurance companies.

“We overhauled the maps because we were not convinced the version before provided reliable information.”

* To find out more about flooding and the flood map visit the Environment Agency website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk

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