Affordable insurance available for residents in flood risk homes

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper

A MP has reassured residents whose properties are at risk of flooding that affordable home insurance policies are still available.

Since 2008, a Statement of Principles agreed between the Government and the insurance industry has offered homeowners some protection from the large costs they would face to rebuild and reinsure their homes after a flood.

The agreement was set to expire on June 30 this year and for more than 18 months the Government has been seeking to negotiate a new deal.

July last year was the Government’s original deadline for reaching an agreement. Twelve months later, no final settlement has been reached, which has led to a temporary extension of the 2008 deal.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper raised the problem last November at Prime Ministers Questions and was told by the Deputy Prime Minister to expect an announcement in the “not too distant future.”

She said: “I’ve met with people forced out of their homes by flood water damage. Without the security of having insurance they would face total financial ruin.

“This interim agreement is welcome as it offers some peace of mind for homeowners, but the Government needs to speed-up finalising the long-term solution.

“Homeowners need the security of knowing they have some protection should they be hit by floods again.

“I haven’t forgotten what happened in West Lancashire last September and October.”

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has published a report on managing flood risk, which claims spending on flood defences is not keeping pace with the increased risk from severe weather.

It echoes concerns the MP has raised, such as the failure to protect food producing farmland and the reduction in spending on the maintenance of flood defences and watercourses.

She said: “Delivering on insurance is just one aspect of tackling the risk of flooding homeowners and farmers face. I very much welcome this report and the issues it highlights.

“They very much reflect the issues and concerns raised with me here in West Lancashire after last autumn’s floods.

“The Government should pay close attention to this report and act accordingly in an effort to better protect homes and food production from flooding.

“It is important that we are more effective in stopping water from causing the kind of flooding and devastation we’ve seen in recent years.”