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By Pete Mugleston | Mortgage Advisor

Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 15th June 2020*

Mortgages and flood risk

We get a lot of enquiries from people worried about getting a mortgage for a property in a flood zone.

The good news is that we work with some brokers who are experts when it comes to getting the best deal for a property in a flood area, even if you’ve been declined before or have suffered bad credit rating.

To give you all the information you need about mortgages and flood risk, we’ve created this handy guide:

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Can you get a mortgage on a house in a flood zone?

There are lenders who are more likely to provide a mortgage for a property in a high risk flood area and the advisors we work with have access to these, across the UK.

Some lenders may require the risk of flood damage to be low, whilst others may provide a mortgage for a high flood risk property but ask that you have insurance as well as pay a higher deposit.

Your eligibility for any given mortgage will vary depending on the lender and your circumstances. Fortunately, the brokers we work with are whole of market and experts when it comes to finding the best deal, even if the property is in a flood zone. You can contact an advisor here.

Why do mortgage companies require flood insurance?

If you want to mortgage a property in a high risk location such as a flood zone 2 or flood zone 3 area, you may find that your mortgage provider requires you to have insurance cover for flood damage.

In fact, the majority of  lenders will insist that their borrowers take out insurance with flood coverage even if their properties are in moderate to low risk areas.

This is because damage caused by flooding can be very expensive for property owners and having cover for flood damage ensures that both the borrower and the lender are protected.

That being said, there is no law that requires lenders to ask that borrowers take out flood insurance, so it may be possible to find a mortgage lender that doesn’t require flood insurance. But bear in mind that if your home is flooded, the damage may not be covered – talk to one of the advisors we work with about the best deal on insurance.

How common are floods in the UK?

Many homeowners see the risk of a flood to their property as low but with rising sea levels and unexpected heavy rainfall, they could occur more than most expect.

In fact, governments findings estimate that almost 2 million properties in floodplains along rivers, estuaries and coasts in the UK are potentially at risk of river or coastal flooding.

And it’s not just properties near water that are at risk from flooding. An estimated eighty thousand properties are at risk in towns and cities from flooding caused by heavy downpours that overwhelm urban drains.

How much is buildings insurance cover with flood damage included?

The average water damage claim in 2017 was £4,000 and the average cost to fully rebuild a property that had been severely impacted by flooding was £180,000. The average home insurance cover, however, is £120 a year, although this will vary depending on your property and circumstances.

If your home is in an area that is more likely to flood or has flooded previously, then insurers may charge higher insurance premiums. The advisors we work with can research the market and compare the cheapest flood insurances available. Talk to them here for more information.

What are the mortgage flood insurance requirements?

In order to apply for a Buildings insurance with flood cover in the UK, you must be:

  • A UK citizen
  • Aged 18 and over
  • The property owner

The requirements for buildings insurance with flood damage cover will vary between providers as they each have different criteria and conditions.

What will flood insurance cover me for?

  • Removing debris
  • Fees for solicitors, architects and surveyors
  • Replacement of damaged furniture and belongings
  • Alternative accommodation (this may vary between different insurance policies)
  • Drying out your property and its fixtures and fittings

Will buildings insurance cover damage to my belongings?

No. standard buildings insurance won’t cover your contents unless you also have a home contents insurance policy.

Contents insurance isn’t compulsory but it should be considered if the property is in a high flood risk area. The cost of replacing your possessions could be high in comparison to the cost of the cover.


Does a ‘flood’ have to be caused by a natural event?

No, not necessarily. Water that escapes from something inside a property i.e. a bath or boiler, can also be the cause of a flood, although this would usually be covered by insurers under the escape of water peril.

If I already have a mortgage, do I still need flood insurance?

Yes, especially if you live in a high flood risk area. If you currently have a mortgage but don’t have any buildings insurance with flood damage cover, you may be in breach of your mortgage contract which could lead to your home being repossessed.

Are second mortgages exempt from flood insurance requirements?

No. All properties in high risk areas for flooding that are mortgaged, must be covered by buildings insurance with flood cover.

Assess the flood risk of a property before you buy it

In order for homeowners to assess their own flood risk, the Know Your Flood Risk campaign has launched a straightforward and easy to understand Flood Report.

Costing £20 +VAT, this can be a helpful tool for homeowners and potential homeowners. The website provides access to information about the property and the area, allowing you to assess the potential risk of future damage caused by floods, as well as the likelihood that you’ll be able to find an insurer.

Additional sources for flood risk information

Another source of information for flood risk across the UK is the Flood Action Campaign. Their research shows that 18 to 34 year olds are least likely to consider flood risk in their area, and so their aim is to encourage this age group as well as others to check.

As well as providing information about which areas are more likely to flood, the site also gives helpful advice about how to protect your property and yourself, in the event of a flood.

Where can I get advice about mortgages and insurance for flood zones?

The advisors we work with can help you negotiate with insurers and arrange cover for your property. This can help you confirm whether cover is available for a property, to allow you to continue with the process of mortgaging.

Some mortgage lenders may also decline an application for a mortgage if the property is deemed as too risky due to the risk of flood damage. Fortunately, there are lenders who are more willing to mortgage such properties and the brokers we work with have access to them.

Speak to a mortgage expert about flood zones today

If you have questions about getting a mortgage in a flood zone or want to speak to an expert for the right advice, call Online Mortgage Advisor today on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry here.

Then sit back and let us do all the hard work in finding the broker with the right expertise for your circumstances.  – We don’t charge a fee and there’s absolutely no obligation or marks on your credit rating.

Updated: 15th June 2020
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FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The info on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.