Flood model suggests 1.2m buildings at risk by 2050

Flooding could impact more than 1.2 million properties across Great Britain in the next 30 years, with potential insurance liabilities reaching £122bn. A further 1.9m properties are predicted to be newly at risk of subsidence by 2050, a development which is thought might double insurance claims.

These are among the findings of analysis conducted by Gamma Location Intelligence, whose underwriting risk assessment platform Perilfinder uses data from Ambiental Risk′s FloodFutures model, among other datasets.

It estimates that 1,799,271 residential and commercial addresses are currently at risk from flooding in Great Britain. By 2050, it predicts that some 3,066,318 properties will be at risk of flooding in the case of the high emissions scenario, based on data from UK Climate Predictions (including UKCP09), and a 2˚C global temperature rise.

The south coast -- from Portsmouth to Worthing -- sees a particularly significant increase in the proportion of properties at risk. The east coast and parts of London not protected by the Thames Tidal Barrier also feature in the set of areas seeing the largest increase. Conwy in Wales is the only area not in England among those set to be most impacted.
The analysis also reveals the potential impact in terms of insurance pay outs should the worst-case flood increase scenario occur.

Based on the average pay-outs on insurance flood claims in February 2020 following storms Ciara and Dennis, it says there is a potential insurance liability of £122bn.

Senior spatial data scientist at Gamma Location Intelligence, Richard Cantwell, said: “Global warming is already having an impact on our daily lives, but the effects of it will become far more tangible and extreme in the years to come. And Great Britain could be particularly affected.

“Data indicates that summers in the UK have gotten wetter and storms are becoming more common -- February just past was the wettest February in Britain since records began due to the arrival of three named storms during the month -- Ciara, Dennis and Jorge. The reality is that global temperatures are continuing to rise, and flooding is becoming more common place. If expected trends continue, a large number of properties will be newly impacted."

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