Risk Management Solutions Makes UK Flood Data Available to Public

January 20, 2009

Risk Management Solutions announced that its flood mapping data will be made publicly available for the first time. The decision gives “homebuyers far more accurate information about the likelihood of getting insurance,” said RMS. The data is available through a partnership between the Landmark Information Group and RMS.

The bulletin described Landmark as a “leader in the provision of environmental risks reports to the property industry.” It will now “incorporate the latest RMS flood mapping data it into its analysis for homebuyers and solicitors. The U.K. Flood Risk Assessment maps cover all sources of flood risk, including surface water and minor river flooding, which is believed to have caused around 50 per cent of the damage from the 2007 summer floods.”

RMS added that Landmark’s “Homecheck Professional Flood Report is the UK’s most comprehensive report of its kind featuring not only data from the Environment Agency, and Norwich Union (the UK’s biggest flood insurers), but also includes records of actual flood claims in the local area. For more information and practical guidance on the increasing risk of flood visit www.homecheckflood.co.uk.

RMS noted that “until now, the reports have just included data from the Government’s Environment Agency, which is currently only responsible for major river flood risk.” According to the Agency’s maps, less than 10 per cent of England and Wales is at risk of flooding. But RMS said it “estimates this figure to be almost 30 per cent – the majority of this additional risk being from excessive rainfall and minor rivers overflowing. In an analysis of property exposures, RMS estimates that 1 in 4 British homes are at flood risk.

“The reports will include an assessment of the risk of a property flooding from an event that happens on average once every 75 years, compared to once in every 100 years using Environment Agency data. This means homebuyers will know before they buy a property whether or not they will get buildings insurance – and even a mortgage – since the Association of British Insurers (ABI) made an agreement that insurers will provide coverage for properties protected up to this 75-year return period level.”

As an example of the advantages the availability on flood data will provide, RMS noted that its analysis of the areas flooded in 2007, “shows that in Hull, for example, RMS correctly identified some 15 times more properties that would make insurance claims than the Environment Agency.”

Matthew Grant, global head of client development at RMS, which has been modeling all sources of flood risk since 2001, stated: “The 2007 floods provided a stark reminder that major river flooding is just one part of the full flood risk picture, and a much more comprehensive view is needed. By having the metrics to assess the true flood risk facing a property, homebuyers can ensure they pay a fair price, secure insurance coverage and decide if they need to invest in flood defenses.”

“The inclusion of this new cutting-edge flood data represents a major advancement in our property risk assessments,” commented James Sherwood-Rogers, managing director at Landmark. “As there is no requirement to include flood assessments in the Government’s Home Information Packs, homebuyers would otherwise be in the dark about the true risks facing a property. These new reports will furnish them with the information needed to assess properties and negotiate on transactions.”

Source: Risk Management Solutions – www.rms.com

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