Risk management consultancy Argyll Environmental is calling on the Environment Agency to update its data on flood defences more frequently to improve the reliability of its Flood Map.
The frequency and detail with which the maps are updated needs to be reconsidered given the recent rise in flooding across the UK says Argyll Environmental. Without a clear and reliable flood map, property owners are finding it increasingly difficult to secure comprehensive insurance policies.
Both historic flood defences and new flood defences are often not factored into the map, and, as such, some property owners are finding insurance premiums are being readjusted unfairly.
Simon Boyle, legal director at Argyll Environmental, comments: "It seems that there will be widespread readjustment of insurance premiums in the future, largely based on the EA flood maps, and therefore it is important that these maps are improved so they take into account newly installed defences. Equally, many historic drainage defences such as dykes and levees are not considered in Environment Agency models."
It is vital that property owners obtain detailed reports in order to manage their own flood risk. A typical Argyll Environmental report includes a fully interpreted flood risk assessment and commentary and takes into account all types of flooding as well as providing a description and indicative pricing for flood resistance measures.
Approximately 1 in 6 houses are at risk of flooding, a number which, according to a recent report by Defra, is set to increase. By updating maps more frequently the Environment Agency can help ensure property owners are correctly quoted for insurance.
Simon continued: "The Environment Agency Flood Map does not take into account all types of flooding and its capabilities for identifying flood risks are therefore limited. We would always recommend that businesses and property owners seek a comprehensive commercial report so they can prepare flood defences accordingly."