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
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

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test