Insurers press government to keep flood insurance affordable
Thursday, 11 October 2012
The insurance industry is pressing the government to come to an agreement over the future of insuring properties that are in flood risk areas.
People living in areas that are at high risk of flooding should have benefited from knowing that their properties will remain insurable under a government agreement.
The new arrangement was supposed to have been finalised this spring, but no consensus was reached and talks have stalled.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs explained that, “The government is adamant there will not be an increase in household premiums.”
Existing legislation means that most houses in these areas are still able to get insurance cover. It’s important to compare insurers to see what the best deal available for your property is.
Earlier this week, Cushendall and the wider Glens narrowly escaped widespread flooding following the Met Office issuing the area with an amber warning. The local warning saw the local councils prepare the areas for high volumes of rain alongside surveying previous flood areas.
Drains and culverts were cleared, river levels were monitored and sandbag stores were checked.
A few houses in Glenariff Glen were reported to have suffered from the storms, but nothing close to the floods that occurred earlier this year in June.
AA Insurance director Simon Douglas said, “There are 200,000 UK homes at serious flood risk and 2.4 million homes at some risk of flooding from rivers or the sea.
“The majority of them have been able to insure their homes thanks to the agreement, but that ends on 30 June next year.
“There's little sign yet of a replacement. These families must be wondering whether they will be able to find affordable insurance from that date and I'm concerned at the apparent lack of progress.”
There are currently 78 flood warnings across the UK, with five million people potentially at risk from the devastating effects of severe rainfall.
Insurers are strongly advising people in these areas to prepare for flooding by keeping an eye on the local news and taking necessary precautions.
Checking whether your area is likely to flood will advise you on the level of preparations you should need to take. You should always keep your insurer’s details to hand.
Other useful items that you may wish to include in a waterproof kit are torches, food, warm clothes and blankets.
To reduce the amount of water that enters your home, place sandbags outside doors, windows and other holes. Make sure that you know where your gas, water and electricity switches are so that you can turn them off in the event of a flood. Disconnecting pipes to washing machines and dishwashers will prevent damage in the event that high volumes of water move them. You will also want to move as much furniture and other contents as high up as possible to ensure that they are away from harm’s reach.
Being well prepared for flooding will limit damage to your home and save you from the heartache of having your precious belongings destroyed.
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