This is a one-off scheme to cover needs arising from the flooding of winter 2013-14. Alongside this announcement the Government is continuing to work with the insurance industry to consider how resilient repair could be funded and targeted in the future in the context of developing proposals for Flood Re, the proposed solution for affordable flood insurance for domestic properties, in order to ensure that high-risk households are supported to prepare for severe weather and flooding in the future.
The grants go live on 1st April 2014
The aim is that the application process should be simple. In the first instance, people should contact their local authority (usually the District Council) who will operate the scheme locally providing advice on how they will take it forward.
The grant is intended to cover the additional cost of making a property more resilient to flooding (that is, the amount above the cost of standard repairs that an insurance company will pay for) as it is reinstated. It is not to cover any losses by the householder, it is not compensation for being flooded nor is to cover the ‘excess’ element of an insurance policy. Furthermore, the grant will not cover repairs to annexes, outhouses, garages or other such buildings.
The application form will have a list of suggested measures. People may find it useful to consult their insurer/loss adjuster as they start the repair process to see what type of additional work could be combined with the standard repairs that the insurer is funding.
If this is not possible, the Property Protection Adviser or the National Flood Forum will give an indication of the type and costs or measures people could install and they should use this when they submit their application to the local authority. For more advice, the ‘Homeowners Guide to Flood Resilience’, developed by the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign, will give you a full list of the range of products available coupled with useful case studies. It is well worth visiting the Flood Protection Association website which contains a list of approved members who supply and fit flood protection products.
For terraced property and in other situations where it is beneficial to do so, people may collaborate in how they use individual grants (consulting their Local Authority first) to protect their properties.
If people wish to have an independent survey prior to starting work to see what is necessary, or have the completed work validated for their insurer through a Flood Risk Report, people are advised to talk to the Local Authority before making any commitments.
Mary Dhonau, OBE
Chief Executive, Know Your Flood Risk campaign