Flood insurance argument could leave millions high and dry

Up to 200,000 homes in Wales and england have been warned they’ll battle to obtain adequate flood insurance after June 2013, if the insurance industry’s voluntary flood agreement while using the government ends.

In 92 constituencies you’ll find 1,000 or higher homes at high flood risk, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said after analysing the modern Environment Agency flood data.

Boston and Skegness in Lincolnshire could be the constituency with the most homes at significant potential for flooding, with 7,550 properties under threat, and then the Vale of Clwyd (7,339 homes), Folkestone and Hythe (7,196), and Windsor (7,125). A house is identified as being at risk in the event it has a one out of 75 prospect of flooding in almost any given year.

The chance households not being able to obtain cover is heightened by a continuing row over who will cover the flood defences required to maintain protection for that 5m homes in danger along the UK.

Adrian Webb of esure said there were a “gentlemen’s agreement” between insurers additionally, the government since 1961.

“The government of times said government might be liable for flood defences, and also the industry could include flood cover as standard. Right after the 1990s it had been becoming clear how the government’s side in the equation had not been being met C and does not be met later on,” he was quoted saying.

The current flood insurance statement of principles agreement with all the government, agreed in 2000 being a short-term measure, ends up in June 2013. It states that insurers must include flood cover as standard for properties built before 1 January 2009, in which the chance of flooding is low; and, crucially, insurers must allow at-risk households who have already got flood cover to automatically renew cover with the same insurer, given that flood defences are planned to place within five-years.

The ABI’s director general, Otto Thoresen, said this “grossly distorts the market” because individuals in lower risk flood areas pay more to subsidise those at probabilities. “Customers in high risk areas are saddled with their existing insurer, and others insurers included in it have ended on the top of a disproportionate amount of high flood risk properties.”

Webb said insurance in general “ensures a flow of income through the fortunate into the unfortunate. Nevertheless the difficulty is supplied in places that flooding isn’t accidental or perhaps a peril anymore, but a certainty. It then becomes a redistribution of wealth rather than insurance.”

The public accounts committee said the govt “needs to realize an understanding while using insurance industry urgently and work more closely with it to be certain protection plans is both available and affordable” C something echoed by Webb. He stated the insurance plan industry will need to have “very strong words with government between now and June 2013.”

He added: “The government can’t force insurers to produce consumers due to its own failure to obtain flood protection. Automobile agreement is not reached a couple of things may occur: either cover might be unaffordable in locations there is a strong likelihood, of flooding or costs will rise for everyone. Other locations identified by the ABI could possibly be hit first.”

In a December 2011 article to your Town and Country Planning Association David Crichton, visiting professor at University College London possibly at Middlesex University Flood Hazard Research Centre, said a finish to the present agreement on insurance was obviously a good move around in the long term, “because flood insurance provides economic penalties to discourage building in flood hazard areas. [But] at any given time, withdrawal of protection plans may well cause blight including a fall in property values.”

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said some households could soon encounter problems: “Some insurers are telling us that flood-prone homeowners is probably not in the position to renew their cover later at the moment, since their new policy will extend beyond 1 July 2013: because of the implications for property value and mortgage availability until this implies. That doesn’t augur well for your 5.Two million families estimated for being in jeopardy from flooding.”

Constituencies mostly homes at significant flood risk

? Boston and Skegness, 7,550 homes

? Vale of Clwyd, 7,339

? Folkestone and Hythe, 7,196

? Windsor, 7,125

? Runnymede and Weybridge, 6,541

? Clwyd West, 6,160

? Aberconwy, 5,500

? Nottingham (south), 5,043

? Great Yarmouth, 4,965

? Sittingbourne and Sheppey, 4,295

? Leeds (central), 4,209

? Canterbury, 4,199

Source: ABI

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