Homeowners 'denied flood insurance'

 

Homeowners are being denied flood insurance because of delays by the Government and insurers coming to a new deal on affordable cover, it was claimed today.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 350 councils in England and Wales, said an arrangement between the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to provide cover to flood-risk homes expires next June, and a new agreement has yet to be reached.

It said that a number of councils have reported homeowners who have tried to renew their insurance in the past few weeks have been denied cover or quoted hugely inflated prices.

It warned that the longer Government and industry stall on a new deal, the more households are likely to be denied cover and exposed to the risk of losing their homes in the event of severe flooding.

Although the Government announced earlier this week that councils would receive reimbursement for clearing up flood damage following record-breaking rainfall over recent weeks, local authorities are concerned that communities will be hit hard if high-risk areas effectively become blacklisted by insurers.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, vice chairman of the LGA's environment board, said: "The extreme weather we have seen over the past few weeks is a stark reminder of the importance of flood insurance.

"It is absolutely vital that Government and the insurance industry come to a new deal on providing affordable cover as a matter of urgency.

"Households are now being refused cover and left exposed to the risks of damage and destruction.

"A new agreement should have been sorted long before now and the continuing delays are having a very real and severe impact on thousands of people who will be exposed to the risk of losing their homes if they are unable to find insurance."

Councils have been calling for clarity on arrangements to replace the current statement of principles for the past two years.

The LGA said that when the north west of England was hit by floods earlier this month, one local authority found that an estimated 100 out of 800 homes affected were without insurance.

Local authorities also know of people in areas including Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire, Devon, Kent and Huddersfield who have been refused or priced out of home insurance because of flood risk.

But the ABI refuted the claims. Nick Starling, ABI director of general insurance, said: "It is wrong for the LGA to paint a picture of insurers leaving their customers in limbo on flood cover.

"Insurers continue to honour their commitments under the current agreement with Government, providing cover to their customers in high flood-risk areas as a standard part of home and small business insurance.

"Insurers are determined that flood insurance remains available and affordable and we are currently in constructive discussions with Government to explore how we can achieve this."

A spokesman for Defra said: "We want to go further than the Statement of Principles to reach an agreement that ensures both the availability and the affordability of flood insurance for the first time.

"The insurance industry and the Government, working closely together, have made great progress towards this goal."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission, Benefits, OTE £100k: SThree: ...

Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine