The processes used by property insurers for deciding if a building can or cannot be covered are sometimes perplexing to consumers.

But one homeowner on the south Devon coast was left truly confused when an insurer refused him home insurance because his property was “liable to flooding” – despite being 250 feet above sea level and 750 feet from the water’s edge.

Whilst in a Lloyds Bank branch on a separate matter, Mr Brisley, 85, was asked if he wanted home insurance. He said he was already insured, but a staff member at the bank said they would try and offer him a lower premium.

Brisley was told something was wrong with the system, and would receive a call later when it was resolved.

The call he received, however, left him astonished: he was told his property could not be insured due to its risk of flooding.

Lloyds said it assessed properties on a postcode basis and that Mr Brisley’s home was on a steep slope, and thus protection was not possible.

Since the story broke, the bank has said it was working on an assessment system that would function on a case-by-case basis.

Some homeowners in flood prone areas have struggled to get insured in recent months, particularly since the floods in February. However, the government’s Flood Re scheme is aimed at helping those in flood risk areas to get cover. Under the scheme, every UK homeowner will pay £10.50 to cover the cost of insuring homes at risk from flooding; the flood prone homeowners’ premium will be capped according to the building’s council tax band.

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