Homeowners and buyers need to be better informed about the risks of flooding and what that might mean for their insurance premiums now and in the future.
(PRWEB UK) 28 September 2012
In response to the extensive flooding in the past year Ambiental, a business-to-business specialist in flood modelling, has launched RiskCentral™ to offer UK consumers a free online flood check service. The pioneering new service provides homeowners and buyers with the chance to see if a property is in a high-risk flood zone and offers them the opportunity to purchase a low-cost, detailed report if they need further information.
The new service launches amid growing uncertainty as to whether home insurers will continue to offer standard flood cover for properties in flood risk areas. For the past 10 years there has been an agreement between the UK Government and the Association of British Insurers, which guaranteed that any home in the UK would be insurable at a reasonable cost. The agreement expires in June 2013 and it’s likely that premiums will increase for properties in riskier areas.
Dr Justin Butler, Managing Director of RiskCentral™, explained: “Homeowners and buyers need to be better informed about the risks of flooding and what that might mean for their insurance premiums now and in the future. At the moment there is very little specific information available that can help consumers to make the right property decisions, reduce costs and limit their risk to flooding.”
The Environment Agency provides an online flood map where consumers can find out about at-risk zones but each zone is quite large and not property specific. The RiskCentral system searches a range of individual databases to provide much more localised data for both it’s free report and the more detailed flood report.
Dr Butler added: “Homeowners and buyers need specific information about the home they live in or plan to buy. This is one of the main reasons we created RiskCentral as it provides comprehensive data on river, tidal and pluvial flood risk that’s simply not readily available to consumers elsewhere.”
RiskCentral is part of Ambiental, a specialist flood risk modelling consultancy led by Dr. Butler. Ambiental has taken very high detail topographic / terrain data for the whole UK and have used this in conjunction with complex computer models to analyse water flow around individual buildings within the landscape. Based on the computer modelled flood water level, a predicted area of inundation, or flood zone, can be mapped out. Three types of flood modelling were carried out by Ambiental on behalf of RiskCentral: fluvial (river) flood; coastal / tidal; and pluvial (surface water). The overall flood risk score, featured in the full flood reports, is calculated by searching at lightning speed through each of these individual flood databases to see if a specific location falls within or near one of these pre-defined flood zones.