Affordable flooding insurance

31/01/2012
Issue of the day: Affordable flooding insurance
Issue of the day: Affordable flooding insurance

Insurers are putting pressure on the government to do more to deal with the flooding risks faced across England.

The industry body, the Association of British Insurers, is warning that those most at risk will end up paying the price if the government does not take action. It says it is "frustrated" by ministers' attitude.

Currently, a pact is in place that obliges companies to provide cover for homes in high-risk areas while the government works to improve British flood defences.

However, this initiative ends in June 2013, potentially leaving 200,000 houses uninsurable and their owners at risk of losing large sums of money should a flood occur.

Meanwhile a report from the Commons' public accounts committee attacks current arrangements. It says both accountability and responsibility are far from clear.

The flooding debate has broader implications, too - environmental charity Friends of the Earth is using it to further its campaign against the government's planning reform, which would allow the construction of more housing on at-risk floodplains.

Damage to properties caused by water could cost up to £12 billion a year by 2080, compared to £1.2 billion a year today. 

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