Flood Re, the UK’s government-backed reinsurance scheme, has urged the country to “build back better” following record flood losses in 2019/20.
Flood Re incurred claims at a gross cost of £160 million last year, which was ten times higher than the previous year.
After three relatively dry years, 2019/20 saw the first major Storms, Ciara and Dennis, causing widespread flooding across the UK, with claims totalling more than the three previous years combined.
Between November 2019 and February 2020, thousands of homes were flooded in South Wales, Northern and Central England and the Scottish Borders.
In its Annual Report, Flood Re also highlighted how rising temperatures due to climate change could impact the number of properties at risk of flooding, and the implications for its ability to exit the market by 2039.
Adding to this, the challenges of COVID-19 mean that many households impacted by flooding have endured further hardships as a result of the pandemic due to delays to building works or increased costs.
Accordingly, Flood Re Chief Executive Andy Bord emphasised the critical need for any COVID-19 recovery to include improved resilience in the rebuild process, and to provide for sustained investment in flood-risk management strategies.
Bord commented: “Flood Re has had a significant impact on the affordability and availability of home insurance with more than 300,000 households in the UK who are at risk of flooding directly benefitting from the Scheme. We are helping more families than ever before and are in a strong financial position ready to support those impacted by flooding.”
“This year has been significant in many ways. We have seen the first major flooding events since our launch in 2016 as well as having to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued.
“In these unprecedented times, the country must build back better, developing a recovery plan that creates sustainable and resilient foundations for the future. For those at risk of flooding, it is critical that investment in flood mitigation strategies be maintained.”