With storms raging across the UK this weekend and widespread flooding across the country, it is apt the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is concerned about talks with the government concerning insurance cover for flooding. The country has seen a number of towns flooded in recent years, and much money spent – or promised – on flood defences, yet the ABI is worried that many home-owners could find themselves without cover as talks have reached an ‘impasse’. A figure of 200,000 homes in risky locations has been aired, with some believing it could be many more.
Affordable Policies for High Risk Homes
The ABI is looking at ways of implementing affordable flood cover policies for homeowners in high risk areas, but is concerned about the lack of action from the government. The government, however, insists that there is no problem, and that talks are ongoing. There is an agreement in place at the moment that ensures the ABI members will have policies available as long as the government continues to invest in better and more efficient flood defences, yet the major worry is that this runs out in June, 2013. After then, unless a solution is found, many homes will be without cover.
Government ‘Turned Down’ Solution
The director of general insurance at the ABI, Nick Starling, explained the situation:
“Our members are out there looking after people who have been affected by these tragic floods and this means that we want a solution even more now after the difficult events of the weekend. They [talks] have reached a crisis point. We have had two years to sort this out, during that time the insurance industry’s put a massive amount of work and money into coming up with an insurance-led solution and we seem to have reached an impasse.”
There are currently an estimated 800 homes flooded after the weekend’s storms, with more expected to follow.