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Home insurers - near water no flood insurance!

  • 12-02-2018 8:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 13 ✭✭✭ GJMMW


    Hi all,

    We are currently selling our property and eventually found buyers after Christmas but the deal fell through due to them being unable to obtain flood insurance at the address. We have flood cover as part of our insurance, our neighbours all have cover - even the two latest arrivals since June last year. The area is not on the OPW flooding website, the estate has never been flooded, the OPW have carried out a survey in the area and flagged the estate as having an AEP of 0.1% or a 1 in 1000 chance of flooding and finally the County Council do not deem the area a flood risk.

    Apparently insurers now have new software in place (or they look at google maps) meaning if your property is within 100 - 200 meters of a body of water, no matter what that body of water is, you will not get flood cover. Even the non standard insurers who I went to turned us down as the land the estate is built on has flooded in the last 100 years - they are the companies supposed to help and their criteria are even crazier than the main stream insurers.

    Our neighbours have had their house sale fall through in the last week because of the same issue.

    These new rules for identifying flood risks by insurers are going to impact thousands of potential house sales around the country.

    I know it has been raised in the Dail recently but given the state of housing, the rental market and homelessness we really didn't need insurance companies adding to the mess.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,406 ✭✭✭✭ Eric Cartman


    insurers are becoming increasingly attune to climate change / development issues. After being caught with the trousers down a few times they are very cautious about flooding risks.

    It basically makes waterfront property or even estates with a river near them impossible to insure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 ✭✭✭ GJMMW


    Personally I don't think insurance companies should be allowed to completely redefine how they establish flood risk areas without informing the general public.

    As I mentioned in the initial post this change will impact thousands of house sales around the country. We are living in an area that is not on the OPW flooding website, the estate has never flooded, the County Council do not deem it a flood risk and it has an AEP of 0.1% yet neither standard or non standard insurers will offer flood cover.

    Everyone I have spoken too, brokers, County Council employees, politicians etc have all agreed this change is a disgrace. Hopefully something can be done about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,340 ✭✭✭ miezekatze


    A few people in my estate have had similar issues, but this estate has never flooded and is not near any body of water. It's up a hill actually so if it flooded properly, the rest of Dublin would be under water! I believe the issue was raised with some local TDs and sorted. We've never had issues getting insurance, it just seems to be certain insurers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,314 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    GJMMW wrote: »
    Personally I don't think insurance companies should be allowed to completely redefine how they establish flood risk areas without informing the general public.

    As I mentioned in the initial post this change will impact thousands of house sales around the country. We are living in an area that is not on the OPW flooding website, the estate has never flooded, the County Council do not deem it a flood risk and it has an AEP of 0.1% yet neither standard or non standard insurers will offer flood cover.

    Well given all of that why would you even want or need flood cover? Is it a requirement of some sort these days?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,946 ✭✭✭✭ Cuddlesworth


    GJMMW wrote: »
    Personally I don't think insurance companies should be allowed to completely redefine how they establish flood risk areas without informing the general public.

    As I mentioned in the initial post this change will impact thousands of house sales around the country. We are living in an area that is not on the OPW flooding website, the estate has never flooded, the County Council do not deem it a flood risk and it has an AEP of 0.1% yet neither standard or non standard insurers will offer flood cover.

    Everyone I have spoken too, brokers, County Council employees, politicians etc have all agreed this change is a disgrace. Hopefully something can be done about it.

    If it won't flood, then you don't need the flood insurance right? Insurance company's are getting hit very hard globally as plenty of low risk estates are flooding due to a combination of factors.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,233 ✭✭✭✭ Sleeper12


    A friend lives in East wall and had this trouble last year. He had to be 200 meters away from the water or prove that he was X amount higher than sea level. I think in the end he had to drop flood coverage but is insured for everything else.

    Healy Ray might not believe in global warming but the insurance companies do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 ✭✭✭ GJMMW


    Its like health insurance, hopefully you'll never need it but you pay it to have it.

    We have flood cover as part of our insurance policy, the new neighbours that moved onto the street in the last 8 months both got it with their insurance policy, all the existing neighbours have it but now the estate has gone from a no risk location to a high risk location in the insurance companies minds in the last couple of months when nothing has happened other than the insurance companies changing where they get their source data from.

    Neither the OPW nor the County Council deem the area a flood risk but as Sleep12 mentions insurance companies are now not willing to offer insurance when you are 100 - 200 meters from a body of water - this, from our own point of view, has only come into play at the end of last year.

    Had we known that this was being introduced we would have sold the house last summer or autumn which would have enabled the new buyers acquire flood insurance without any issues.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Well given all of that why would you even want or need flood cover? Is it a requirement of some sort these days?

    Bank requirement to drawdown usually


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,194 ✭✭✭ SuperS54


    If there's so much data showing no risk of flooding then surely flood insurance is not required, either by the buyer or the bank providing the mortgage. I have to assume there is more to this than we're seeing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,627 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen


    SuperS54 wrote: »
    If there's so much data showing no risk of flooding then surely flood insurance is not required, either by the buyer or the bank providing the mortgage. I have to assume there is more to this than we're seeing.
    The bank won't make a determination about flooding risk, they just want the insurance in place. Why would a bank know better than an insurance company about flood risk?

    I had problems getting insurance on my current house because it has a stream 20m uphill from the house. It only flows after extended heavy rain, and even if the stream was dammed the water would just flow on past the house. In the end I just found an insurer who relied on flood maps and claim history (which showed no risk).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13 ✭✭✭ GJMMW


    Lumen, would there be any chance I could get the name of that insurer and I will give them a try?

    Every insurance company I have gone to individually or through brokers are using their own data or simply using google maps to ascertain flood risk without apparently giving any credence to the OPW data or historic flooding - its simply, you're near a water source, game over we will not insure you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 ✭✭✭ ojamesc


    Hi Luman.

    I'm.in similar situation to yourself where by we have a stream(more like a a drainage to be honest)in a field to the back of the house. Could you possibly give me the name of the insurer you when with also.
    Many thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 ✭✭✭ GJMMW


    Looks like its the Ombudsman for me now.

    I still can't believe insurance companies were allowed to bring in a completely new data set practically over night for assessing flood risk, leaving thousands of homes around the country without the option of flood insurance.

    Our local TD brought it up in the Dail and the answer basically was that insurance companies can do what they like but this will impact house sales and it wont be long before its national topic IMO.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,908 ✭✭✭✭ Liam McPoyle


    Insurers use a sophisticated flood mapping software, it not only accounts for previous flooding but for the future risk.

    If according to the software the area presents a good chance of flooding, why would they want to give flood cover and end up having to pay out tens of thousands?

    No prudent underwriter would give flood cover.

    The other side of it is that if the place has never flooded or the owners believe it will never flood, why is getting flood cover an issue?

    If there is no chance of something occurring then having cover for it is moot...


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭ famagusta


    The other side of it is that if the place has never flooded or the owners believe it will never flood, why is getting flood cover an issue?


    I think it's because the bank request it as part of the policy, I wonder could someone clarify!?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,908 ✭✭✭✭ Liam McPoyle


    famagusta wrote: »
    I think it's because the bank request it as part of the policy, I wonder could someone clarify!?

    Alot of banks will have a tied agency with particular insurance providers to insure houses that they have provided the mortgage for , perhaps they could be able to provide the flood cover.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 ✭✭✭ GJMMW


    @Business Cat, the insurance companies had been using one set of data that did not deem ourselves or the area a flood risk for 15 years since the estate was built. Then over night they introduced a new set of data that deem ourselves and the area a high risk flood area. Their sophisticated flood mapping software appears to be if your property is within 100 - 200 meters of a water source no insurance no matter if that water source is the Shannon, Liffey, the sea or a stream. At least two brokers mentioned google maps being used - very sophisticated.

    The OPW has carried out a hydraulics survey in the direct area and the area has an AEP 0.1%, the County Council do not deem the area a flood risk and thus there are no plans to carry out flood works in the area.

    I pay health insurance, I hope that I will never use it but I like to have it in case I need it.

    This change has obviously not effected yourself and thus you can be so dismissive and flippant about it but when you go from having no issue getting flood cover to being told you now live in a high risk area despite nothing changing you have to question how the insurance companies can get away with it and I plan on seeing this one through.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Flood risk has increased massively due to climate change. Vast areas that were no or low risk simply aren't anymore.

    If your OPW or Council data is more than a few years old it's worthless. You need new data and then get the supplier to stand over it forcefully


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 ✭✭✭ GJMMW


    @L1011 - hydraulics survey was carried out in 2016.

    The country as a whole has had some of our worst winter weather over the last decade and the estate was never close to flooding.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,908 ✭✭✭✭ Liam McPoyle


    GJMMW wrote: »
    @Business Cat, the insurance companies had been using one set of data that did not deem ourselves or the area a flood risk for 15 years since the estate was built. Then over night they introduced a new set of data that deem ourselves and the area a high risk flood area. Their sophisticated flood mapping software appears to be if your property is within 100 - 200 meters of a water source no insurance no matter if that water source is the Shannon, Liffey, the sea or a stream. At least two brokers mentioned google maps being used - very sophisticated.

    The OPW has carried out a hydraulics survey in the direct area and the area has an AEP 0.1%, the County Council do not deem the area a flood risk and thus there are no plans to carry out flood works in the area.

    I pay health insurance, I hope that I will never use it but I like to have it in case I need it.

    This change has obviously not effected yourself and thus you can be so dismissive and flippant about it but when you go from having no issue getting flood cover to being told you now live in a high risk area despite nothing changing you have to question how the insurance companies can get away with it and I plan on seeing this one through.

    Brokers do not set rates or covers available.

    If a broker is telling people that insurers are basing their decision to exclude flood cover on Google maps then they are a shyte broker and I'd strongly against taking any advice from them as they clearly don't have a Scooby Doo.

    As I said, it's a predictive system as well as using historic data.

    The geocoding is complied and managed by a UK based company. The insurers pay a huge sum of money for accessing the system so it's not being done for the lols.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 ploughna


    @lumen Hi there - came across this thread while searching the topic as I'm facing a similar issue and cannot obtain flood insurance due to within 100m of river even though property is not marked even a 1:1000 risk on flood maps and entire development is raised above the surrounding land to further mitigate the risk. No luck from any insurance company in getting coverage - they simply input the eircode into their database which shoots back a refusal based only on river proximity. Three doors down (house at exactly the same level and same level of risk) can get flood insurance because it's 20m further away from river!
    Any chance you (or anyone else) could share the name of the insurer you found that used flood maps, claims history and a bit of common sense? It's be much appreciated as I may not get my mortgage unless I can find a solution
    Thanks a lot
    Paul


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,772 ✭✭✭✭ ted1


    ploughna wrote: »
    @lumen Hi there - came across this thread while searching the topic as I'm facing a similar issue and cannot obtain flood insurance due to within 100m of river even though property is not marked even a 1:1000 risk on flood maps and entire development is raised above the surrounding land to further mitigate the risk. No luck from any insurance company in getting coverage - they simply input the eircode into their database which shoots back a refusal based only on river proximity. Three doors down (house at exactly the same level and same level of risk) can get flood insurance because it's 20m further away from river!
    Any chance you (or anyone else) could share the name of the insurer you found that used flood maps, claims history and a bit of common sense? It's be much appreciated as I may not get my mortgage unless I can find a solution
    Thanks a lot
    Paul
    I got cover through chill.ie. I dint think any house in Ireland is further than 100m from a stream


  • Registered Users Posts: 57 ✭✭ mickeyodee


    Same situation as yourself, just wondering how did you get on after..any help really appreciated



  • Registered Users Posts: 11 ploughna


    Hi - sorry for the late reply. I did eventually get a couple of quotes from 'specialty' insurance companies. One of them was Dolmen, and the broker that worked with me was Power Insurances in Limerick. Quote was probably 50% higher than the major insurers and they did put an endorsement on the policy for a 2500 euro excess on any flood related claim. We pulled out of the purchase for a number of reasons, but it was good to know that the option of insurance was there



  • Registered Users Posts: 296 ✭✭ bipedalhumanoid


    I was on to power today and they no longer consider flood defences etc for properties located closer than 200m to water.


    I haven't been able to find anyone who will offer flood insurance for a property 105m from a river, despite zero history of flooding and the OPW maps not even showing water reaching anywhere near the property in their low-risk projections.


    The trend seems to be that it is getting harder and harder to insure these properties.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,503 ✭✭✭ spaceHopper


    See if your bank offer home insurance, for example with AIB they goto AXA for home insurance. Get it over the line then see if you can get a better deal next year.



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,053 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    Climate change is increasing the risk of flooding so it's changing from a thing that could happen to something that will happen, insurance doesn't cover things that will happen.



  • Registered Users Posts: 296 ✭✭ bipedalhumanoid


    The OPW flood maps don't even rank the property I am looking at as a low risk. None of their projections include it being flooded and for good reason.

    There is a hill running along the river Bank in front of the houses and the other side of the river consists of vast acres of low-lying farmland. There is only one way for the water can go if the banks are burst.

    This isn't about climate change, it's insurers failing to do a proper risk assessment that considers flood defence measures or even local topography.



  • Registered Users Posts: 296 ✭✭ bipedalhumanoid



    AIB is my bank and I did try this. They won't even offer insurance that excludes flood. There are quite a few insurers like this. They don't want the bad press that comes with flood exclusion, so they won't offer anything.

    The bank has said I can draw down the mortgage without flood insurance, as long as I at least have fire cover, though, and I can get that elsewhere.

    As for waiting a year or so, the trend seems to be going the opposite way. I spoke to a neighbour who managed to get (expensive) flood insurance as recently as November. The same broker can't provide that insurance today.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,503 ✭✭✭ spaceHopper


    Glad you got something and were able to buy the house. If there is zero risk of flooding I'd leave it and get the best deal you can.



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