Easy-to-use Flood Checker tool will immediately show whether a property is at risk from flooding
MDA SearchFlow (www.searchflow.co.uk), the UK's largest property search information provider, has today launched a new Flood Checker service, a property-specific assessment of flood risk, based on geography, geology and insurability. The new service, which will be launched in conjunction with Landmark Information Group, will give law firms a quick and easy way of identifying whether a client’s residential or commercial property is likely to be at risk of flooding, so that a more detailed flood report can be ordered when selecting their other due diligence reports, if necessary.
"Unfortunately, flooding has now become a regular event in the UK, and it isn’t just rivers anymore – its drains, streets, and car parks, as well," says David Kempster, Marketing Director, MDA SearchFlow. "Not only do businesses risk losing millions of pounds in disruption and clean up, but flood risk also now affects insurability and lending decisions for homeowners as well. For all of these reasons, our Flood Checker service will provide an important first step towards avoiding all of the stress, heartache and expense related to flooding."
According to the Environment Agency, around 5 million people, in 2 million properties, live in flood risk areas in England and Wales. With an increase in severe weather events and instability associated with climate change, the problem now extends beyond just rivers, as the land, buildings and surrounding environment now also play an important role as well.
Based on the latest detailed flood modeling, the Flood Checker service from MDA SearchFlow will let law firms know – quickly and easily – whether their client's property is likely to be at significant risk. If so, it will make a recommendation to consider a more detailed Flood Search in addition to the standard environmental due diligence. This innovative service will be included in MDA SearchFlow’s automatic relevancy checks and delivers the result at the property address level.
MDA SearchFlow has gathered all of the most well-known providers of flood reporting under one umbrella, with comprehensive offerings from market leaders Landmark, Argyll Environmental and Groundsure. As such, in the event that a more detailed Flood Report is needed, law firms will be given a wide choice of reporting options from a new dedicated Flood Search section. To make the process even easier, the relevant flood risk information will be presented automatically, depending on whether the property selected is a commercial or residential property.
Whilst a standard Environmental Search is no doubt an essential tool for compliance with the Law Society's Warning Card on Contaminated Land, it does not give the same vital detail on flood risk that these new flood searches can now provide. Groundwater, surface flooding and pluvial flood risk data, together with insurability ratings based on claims histories and updated modeling, are now key features of more detailed flood reports.
Even a perceived risk of flooding can sometimes cause problems for homeowners and businesses alike, as insurance can be difficult to obtain in some cases, which means that some lenders could be reluctant to provide a mortgage on the property. Unfortunately, this threat is likely to become even stronger as severe weather continues to affect those in potentially risky areas, which in turn may lead to stricter lending criteria, such as higher deposits or retentions.
"With the reality of flood damage now all too familiar to many homeowners in the UK, lenders are understandably becoming increasingly concerned about the security of their assets, with insurability and property value being major issues," David Kempster adds. "In addition to making businesses and homeowners aware of any potential flood risk to their property, the Flood Checker service will also help law firms to pre-empt any potential lending and insurance issues that could arise from a flood risk, as well."
As part of its work in this area, MDA SearchFlow has retained its role as a corporate supporter of the “Know Your Flood Risk” campaign (www.knowyourfloodrisk.org.uk), a new campaign that aims to raise awareness of the subject and the potential risks. As a collective voice, Know Your Flood Risk and its members aim to increase the profile of flooding and ensure the public and commercial environment are not only aware of the risks they face, but also how to mitigate them.
About MDA SearchFlow
Built on entrepreneurial vision 25 years ago, MDA SearchFlow is the UK’s number one property search information provider. The Company provides a one-stop shop for sending and receiving property searches and Home Information Pack (HIP) content for legal professionals, estate agents, and HIP providers who conduct property and other financial transactions.
In April 2006, Macdonald Dettwiler & Associates (MDA) acquired the interests of SearchFlow and PSA and the merged company, MDA SearchFlow was created. It is run by the existing SearchFlow management team with over 50 years combined experience in the property industry. The web address is http://www.searchflow.co.uk
About Know Your Flood Risk
Designed to raise awareness of the issue of flooding in the UK, the ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ campaign has been launched in association with the National Flood Forum and Landmark Information Group: www.knowyourfloodrisk.co.uk.
By becoming a member of the campaign, organisations join a community whose goal it is to raise awareness of the subject and the potential risks. As a collective voice, Know Your Flood Risk and its members aim to increase the profile of flooding and ensure the public and commercial environment are not only aware of the risks they face, but also how to mitigate them.
With a number of organisations already signed up to the campaign and increasing media coverage, the Know Your Flood Risk campaign and visibility of the recognisable logo is gathering momentum.
Chaz Brooks, CBC
Tel: +44 (0)1483 537 890
Tel: 0870 787 7625
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