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Wednesday 17 September 2014

New cover launched for homes at risk of flooding

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Published 12/04/2014 | 02:30

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A flooded car park overlooking Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Dublin, last January. Photo: Steve Humphreys
A flooded car park overlooking Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Dublin, last January. Photo: Steve Humphreys

A NEW insurance policy has been launched for homeowners unable to get cover because of flood risk or because of a previous claim they did not reveal.

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It is estimated that up to 50,000 homeowners are unable to insure their homes because of the risk of flooding where they are situated.

The new policy will also provide cover for those who have been declared bankrupt or have an irregular income.

It will also be available to those who cannot get their home insured because they have a conviction, or live in a "non-standard" constructed house.

Dublin-based insurance company Dolmen is to make the new Flex product available through 300 brokers across the country.

Associate director of Dolmen Insurance James Burke said the premiums would be higher than normal cover, but not dramatically more expensive.

He said one homeowner who had his cover cancelled after the insurer found out there was a previous claim it was not told about took out insurance through the Flex product.

The cost was €769 a year, for €390,000 cover for the building and €75,000 to cover the contents of the home. Lloyds of London is underwriting the policies, he said. "Every application for cover is judged on its merits," Mr Burke added.

He said brokers offering the Flex policy will provide a quote for anyone in non-standard occupations, those who have convictions and those with a property that has a subsidence history or has been underpinned.

Mr Burke said those who have been declared bankrupt, those with a bad claims history, and people in unoccupied homes would also get a quote.

"Those offering Flex will look to quote on 98pc of all risks presented to them," he said.

Up to a quarter of a million people are affected by the denial of flood insurance to 50,000 homes. This estimate in spring 2013 is likely to increase considerably, as the worst winter on record has left many more homes flooded.

Irish Independent

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