The impact of fracking on house prices, rental costs and insurance

The arrival of the fracking industry in your area can have a number of impacts on your health, the environment and your finances. Many commentators expect house prices to fall and property insurance costs to rise in areas where fracking is present.

It is expected that the fracking industry will cause house prices to fall and the housing market to stagnate and it is likely that the nearer you are to a fracking well-site the worse it will be.

On 7th March 2016 University of Bristol researchers estimated a reduction of house prices of 3-4% for houses sold in the area surrounding the fracking operations in Blackpool. You can read more about their research here.

In September 2014 the BBC’s ‘Rip Off Britain’ broadcast a report on the effect of fracking on house prices.

But it isn’t just falling house prices that you need to be aware of. In the article ‘Insurance implications of fracking’ published by the Chartered Institute of Insurers (CII) in March 2017 they state that “Large-scale fracking could be rolled out across the UK in the near future and while there are regulations in place to ensure it is as safe as it can be, insurers must consider the potential risks any increase in activity could bring.”

The article is based on the CII report ‘Insurance implications of fracking’ a full copy of which can be found here.

The report identifies and examines a number of key perils associated with fracking such as earthquakes, explosions and fire, pollution, injury and death. While cover for these risks are included in most insurance policies, fracking will pose additional complications around liability. Widespread fracking may also lead to increased claims frequency near fracking sites and then insurers may have to consider how they underwrite this emerging higher-risk group.

Although the CII recognises “there are regulations in place to ensure it is as safe as it can be” in a report published in October 2016 Professor Andrew Watterson and Dr Will Dinan from the University of Stirling argued that regulatory agencies lack the staff and resources to protect the public from pollution risks and that no one has worked out how to make sure that regulation is effective.

The report can be found here.