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Forest Hill in a flood plain? Insurance issues.
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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
25-09-2009 10:41 PM

In case this affects anyone else, we were advised very recently by our insurance broker of over 10 years (the AA), that our postcode was in the Environment Agency flood plain hence they had obtained renewal quotes for building insurance which were in excess of ?1000 pa, nearly twice the price of the previous years insurance.
With contents insurance this took us up to almost ?1400 pa. Needless to say we were a little surprised. We quizzed them thoroughly about this but they were adamant that they were correct even though there we could find no evidence of such on the EA website. They said they would be imposing this on any other se23 customers at renewal stage.
As the renewal date approached (next week) we started searching around other companies and managed today to get a fully inclusive buildings and contents quote for less than ?600 pa , even with all the extras and frills such as legal, items outside the home etc. No other company considered FH to be in a flood plain or having any undue risk factors- which of course it isn't as its far away from the Thames and mostly in an elevated position.

We are taking this up with the AA as its total incompetence from someone and clearly someone stands to make a lot of money out of this ' error'. Has anyone else incurred anything similar?

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #2
26-09-2009 10:09 AM

Roz, you can check out your postcode on the EA website:

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/hom...fault.aspx

Enter your postcode on the upper RHS and you will get the result. I would suggest you take up this with your origional insurer as they are trying to blanket cover an increase because of an entire postcode.

I had similiar a year ago but queried it and was told I was at risk of flooding. My response given we live on the hill was that if we flooded we may as all give up as the polar ice caps would have melted and we would then have a lovely riverside house.

They amended their quote.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
26-09-2009 10:21 AM

Thanks- was yours with the AA as well? We have checked out the EA website and there is nothing there about se23 being in a flood risk area. We did try and discuss with the AA but they were not capable of adjusting their mindset on this or interested in seeing any evidence to the contrary. They had instructions and that was that. What I think may have happened is that they have somehow typed in the se postcodes that are nearer the river and or outside the Thames Barrier by mistake. Anyway we have now found a cheaper and more amenable insurer through our mortgage company and are happy to stick with them for the time being. No one mentioned subsidence however and that I do know is a particular feature of this postcode due to the hill and the many Victorian properties locally that need underpinning.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #4
26-09-2009 11:28 AM

'flooding' may also include run-off from hills - after all, others on this site have noted spontaneous mini-streams appearing in torrential conditions.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
26-09-2009 12:09 PM

Surprisingly have managed to get a written response from the AA ie

Your insurance company NIG have stated that on the enviroment agency website it shows flood barriers & prevention meausures have been put into place ( oh yeah, where?)

however a link to the relevant EA map is pasted below;

http://maps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wi...Controller

If I'm wrong I'd love someone to tell me....seriously..

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
26-09-2009 12:14 PM

And clicking on our road as indicated on the map-

Flood Risk for X:535363, Y:173493
Be prepared
We do not have an assessment of flood risk for the area which you have selected. This may be because the area selected is outside the floodplain. It could also be because we have been unable to assess the likelihood of flooding for this area because we did not have sufficient information (this applies to fewer than 1% of the properties in England and Wales in the flood outline)

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #7
26-09-2009 07:32 PM

Roz
This is very surprising. What is your postcode?

Guess you are not on the top of Cannonbie.

I would think for most of SE23 the water would flow towards Catford.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #8
26-09-2009 07:34 PM

Roz, I am afraid like anything in the services sector these days it is not a human decision but a "computer say no". It's the AA (and NIG's) loss.

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steveb


Posts: 113
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #9
27-09-2009 12:00 PM

Perhaps they have confused the red symbol for flood defences with the two red dots on the SE23 map. Being the AA, they wouldn't know what a railway station is.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #10
27-09-2009 05:57 PM

The big question is why the AA are getting involved with house insurance. They should concentrate on motor.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
27-09-2009 07:37 PM

They've done it for years, Brian , as brokers, and do a wide variety of things. Map reading however is clearly not one of their areas of expertise.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #12
28-09-2009 01:01 PM

I agree Roz , everybody wants to get involved in other people business areas , next will have supermarkets selling newspapers. Heaven forbid

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,355
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #13
28-09-2009 02:20 PM

When I looked at the map for areas at risk of flooding, it was clearly (and obviously) areas next to rivers (e.g. Catford) that were at risk of flooding.
Forest Hill does not really have a river.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #14
28-09-2009 02:37 PM

Probably a few underground streams running down from Horniman's Height's tp Cates ford.
It is no coincidence that the area between Catford and New Beckenham ( following railway line ) is mostly playing fields.

I to am baffled about flooding in SE 23 , subsidense yes , but flooding.
Guess good citizens of Bewdley , Worcester and Shrewsbury would have a good laugh.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
30-09-2009 08:00 PM

Just as closure, the AA have refused to consider that the insurance company might be wrong, and have refused to look at the EA map and narrative emailed to them. As someone rightly said, computer said no. As did I.

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davidwhiting


Posts: 74
Joined: Dec 2003
Post: #16
01-10-2009 06:08 PM

Roz

Have you considered a complaint to the Information Commissioner and / or the Insurance Ombudsman?

The Information Commissioner might be a long shot, as how can data on flood plains, accurate or not, be personal data? Well if it is linked to you, as in this case, I suspect it could be argued to be so. It's worth noting that 'third party referencing' has been banned (the practice of disallowing credit because another current or previous resident of your property had a blemished financial character). In that case the true facts about someone else are not permitted to be associated with you. In this case, falsities about flooding are being linked to you causing you financial disadvantage. One of the information principles is accuracy.

Good luck


d

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
01-10-2009 07:07 PM

Hi, I have considered taking it further but don't really have the time, especially as we have found a more amenable insurer. I really wanted to share the experience in case someone else locally unwittingly experienced a higher premium for a false premise.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
12-10-2009 07:05 PM

For what its worth, trying to shake off the AA since policy cancellation has been a nightmare. Clearly computer has been saying no again, or they just cant believe we are walking. They got as far as setting up a fresh direct debit with our bank and were about to take out ?75 when we rumbled it just in time. They have been asked to provide a full explanation as to why they still regard FH as being in a flood plain by next week. I'll share anything relevant with anyone who wants more info.

In contrast can highly recommend the firm with the nodding dog. Can't say who of course but I'm positive he is a close friend of Vic Reeves...

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BT


Posts: 162
Joined: Jul 2003
Post: #19
13-10-2009 07:55 AM

I have found the AA very agressive in regard to Insurance.
A couple of weeks ago I was using some of the comparison sites and tha AA came at the top of the list on all of them with the cheapest but not necessarily the best quote.
I was doing this on a Sunday and at 9am on Monday my phone rang with an AA rep. on the other end. This despite me being registered with the Telephone Preference Service. I reminded him of this and he is reply was that as I had entered my number on the Comparison site the TPS didn't apply.(You have to enter a Phone number on these sites). I told him that it wasn't convenient and he asked when he could phone back. I said "Never". He was quite put out and slammed the phone down.
Interestingly NONE of the other companies phoned - and I got a very good deal with SAGA.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
13-10-2009 09:53 PM

Yes, they have really changed over the time we have used them. They used to be so highly rated and so friendly -now as aggressive as you have portrayed.

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