Last winter’s floods saw over 13,000 householders make a claim on their home insurance policy. With many claims running into thousands of pounds it demonstrated that having the right buildings and contents insurance can offer excellent peace of mind.

While insurers had to deal with thousands of flood claims, new data from the Association of British Insurers has found that the cost of home insurance has actually fallen over the last year. Keep reading to find out more about why your buildings and contents cover has got cheaper and for five ways you could cut the cost of your flood insurance.

Average buildings and contents premium down 3 per cent in the last year

The latest Average Quarterly Household Premium Tracker from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed that the cost of home insurance fell over the last year. Based on information from ABI members (who cover 90 per cent of the home insurance market) the average annual premium paid for building insurance was £230 or £4.43 a week, a fall of 6 per cent over the year.

The average annual contents insurance premium fell by 5 per cent over the last year, to £124. Meanwhile the average annual premium for a combined buildings and contents policy fell by 3 per cent, to £291.

Mark Shepherd, the ABI’s Manager, General Insurance, said: “There is no substitute for home insurance. Last winter’s floods dramatically highlighted the value of insurance, with insurers dealing with over 13,000 claims from flooded property owners. With the average domestic theft claim of £1,600, and the average cost of dealing with subsidence running at £6,900 home insurance is outstanding value of money.

“The expertise of insurers in assessing, planning and pricing for unwelcome events, such as bad weather, ensures that millions of families are benefitting from very competitively-priced home insurance that is protecting them from many of life’s unexpected and unwelcome events.”

5 ways you can help to reduce the cost of your flood insurance

Is your home at risk of flooding? If so, you face the double peril of water seeping into your home and higher insurance rates.

However, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of flooding and the cost of your insurance.

1. Shore up your defences

The best way to stop flood damage to your home is to find ways to stop water getting into your property. There are lots of tried and tested products that can protect you against flood damage and you can find many of these online. Try the Blue Pages for more information.

2. Undertake flood resilience work

The type, location and construction of your property will all determine what flood prevention improvements you can make to your home. However, there may be some work that you can carry out. This could include:

  • Replacing wooden floors with concrete
  • Repositioning electric points higher up
  • Replacing chipboard kitchen units/work surfaces with plastic ones

3. Speak to your insurer

Contact your home insurance provider to ask about flood resistance measures. Some flood protection improvements may not cost more than standard repairs, and your insurer may therefore foot the bill. For example, they may pay for you to move electrical points above the likely flood level.

4. Ask your lender or council for help

While your insurance policy may cover standard repairs you may want to make further improvements to your home. If you need additional help with the cost of such repairs you could speak to your mortgage lender or your local council. Some authorities have funding available for flood protection measures.

5. Keep details of work you have had done

If you come to sell your property you will be asked whether your home has ever flooded. If you have undertaken flood protection improvements then this will help to reassure your buyer. Keep details of the work and any receipts.