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Time for Government and the insurance industry to ditch the so-called ‘unfettered free market’ and agree a new scheme

The National Flood Forum is asking everyone to sign an e-petition on the Government website: “People need Flood Insurance”.  The petition calls on government “to take immediate action that will ensure flood victims and flood hit communities can obtain affordable flood insurance after 2013, in the interests of individuals, communities and the national economy.”

Chairman of the Flood Forum, Charles Tucker said “Government and the insurance industry have been talking about a replacement for the “Statement of Principles” now for over two years – and these talks are still nowhere near a conclusion . . . It’s time for Government and the insurance industry to stop arguing and agree a new scheme. Flood-hit households need reassurance that they will be able to get affordable flood insurance in future.”

The “Statement of Principles” runs out in June next year and 200,000 households may find themselves unable to get flood insurance if there is no agreement on a new scheme.

Over 7000 homes have flooded since June, according to the Environment Agency’s most recent figures. Every one of these can now expect a hike in their premiums – and in some cases insurance may be withdrawn.

The full text of the e-petition:

“People need Flood Insurance”

We call on government to take immediate action that will ensure flood victims and flood hit communities can obtain affordable flood insurance after 2013, in the interests of individuals, communities and the national economy.

Households that have flooded and those reckoned to be at high flood risk face massively increased insurance costs in a free market, as premiums rise to reflect individual risk.

Insurance underpins the security of people’s homes and their value. The end of the “Statement of Principles” in 2013 threatens an unfettered free market that could leave 200,000 homes unable to get flood insurance. This would

– Decimate the value of homes, possibly making them totally unsellable
– Blight the health and wealth of individuals and whole communities
– Blight local economies, particularly housing markets and small businesses
– Blight the lives of older and vulnerable people, who may never recover fully from flooding”

ENDS

For further information contact:

Amanda Davies
Tel 01299 403101
Amanda.davies@floodforum.org.uk
Charles Tucker, Chairman
Telephone: 01386 462441
Charles.tucker@floodforum.org.uk
Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive
Mobile: 0777 3355 181
Email: paul.cobbing@floodforum.org.uk
 
Note:

The National Flood Forum is a charity dedicated to supporting and representing flood risk communities. It helps people to recognise, understand and reduce their flood risks and also helps people to recover if they have been flooded. The National Flood Forum also works to ensure that the needs of communities are fully recognised by Government, Environment Agency, local government and the insurance industry.

The National Flood Forum provides a range of help and services. For example, anyone can call our helpline for advice on flooding issues– 01299 403055, or visit our website – www.floodforum.org.uk.”

 

Should government ensure that insurance corporates offer home-insurance policies in high risk flood areas?

Or should a free market put profits before people?

 

The National Flood Forum, a charity dedicated to supporting and representing flood risk communities, warns that as reported today in The Timeshundreds of thousands of householders in areas are at high risk of flooding face losing their home-insurance policies next year unless the Government finds extra cash to rescue the industry. Talks between insurance chiefs and ministers, which have lasted for months, are on “the brink of collapse”.

As hundreds of homes in the Midlands and the South West were deluged by floods, the National Flood Forum has hit out at Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) for failing to secure an agreement on the future of flood risk insurance.

It warns that the Statement of Principles covering flood insurance runs out in June next year and states that many insurance companies are making plans that assume there will be no agreement, continuing:

“The consequence will be a free-for-all where insurance companies are free and refuse insurance to anyone who is at high risk.

“Chairman of the National Flood Forum, Charles Tucker, said “This is kicking people when they are down. Every one of those 816 households is likely to have a nasty shock when they come to renew their insurance. Many that have flooded before could now find it difficult to get insurance, at any price.

“It’s bad enough just to be flooded. Being hit with a 4-figure insurance premium adds insult to injury. And being refused insurance could spell financial ruin for thousands. Every household and community hit by flooding is relying on them to ensure that flood risk insurance is available to all, is affordable, and is based on social justice.”

The Flood Forum asserts that it is Government’s responsibility to ensure that a clear framework is in place with the insurance industry for flood risk insurance. Failing agreement, a completely free market will leave many thousands of high risk properties unable to obtain insurance in future years. It’s now time for action.