Prospective home buyers should be given more up-front information about the property's flood risk, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The ABI's call follows as a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults found that nine out of 10 people agreed flood risk information should be included on marketing material about properties for sale.
At present no property search websites include flood risk information for the location of properties they listed despite having data on other aspects such as school catchment areas, said the ABI.
ABI director general Huw Evans said: "Information on whether a property is at risk of flooding comes too late, often when people have already invested hundreds if not thousands of pounds in the conveyancing process."
Ahead of ABI's biennial conference tomorrow, Evans is setting out key steps which should improve the awareness of flood risk as part of the home buying process.
He is expected to say estate agents and property search websites should automatically provide "traffic-light style" information indicating the level of risk for the location of the homes listed.
In addition, all solicitors and conveyancers should follow guidance by the Law Society to conduct specific searches of flood risk and to arrange for an "in-depth assessment" by a technical expert if there is any risk in the property.
Based on data from Environment Agency, the ABI said 2.4 million properties in England were currently at risk of river or coastal flooding, an additional three million properties were at risk of surface water flooding, and 600,000 of these are at risk of both.
The ABI also said following the winter floods of 2013/14, insurers paid out more than £450m in flood claims.