esure opens gates for 100,000 previously-excluded ‘flood risk’ homes

This equates to around 100,000 homes across the UK.

The revision of flood risk-ratings – which came into effect on 16th October 2003 – has been made possible by a full-scale re-appraisal of local risk and flood defences, carried out by esure over the last 18 months using a range of sources*.

The highest proportion (30%) of postcodes that the company will now cover are located in the Midlands area, closely followed by postcodes in the North West (23%).

Last year (ie June 2002), esure was the first UK home insurer to adopt a policy refusing to offer cover to homes within postcodes that had been identified as being either prone to – or at risk – of flooding. The aim was to keep premiums competitive for the majority by excluding flood-risk areas with inadequate defences. esure has subsequently been critical of the lack of detailed information about flood defences which is made available to insurers.

Nikki Sellers, head of esure home insurance, said: "esure was criticised last year for refusing to insure areas that weren’t properly protected against floods. We still believe this is the right principle but as defences are implemented, the dangers in many places reduce to make insurance appropriate once again.

"We will continue to work to find as much information as we can about the protection offered for at-risk areas across the UK, working with the government, local authorities and flood appraisal groups to review our risk-ratings."