Issued by City of York Council
Following City of York Council’s call for action for those at risk of being denied affordable, appropriate flooding insurance, the Government has announced a new agreement.
After campaigners urged Ministers to address this matter at the UK’s first dedicated flooding insurance conference on 10 May in York, talks with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has resulted in a new agreement to assure households and businesses at high risk of flooding of affordable insurance.
This new deal will replace the current Statement of Principles that expires at the end of July, and will bring about a cap on flood insurance premiums. Because it will be linked to council tax bands, people will know the maximum they will have to pay.
To fund this, a new industry-backed levy, as outlined at the York conference, will enable insurance companies to cover those most at risk of flooding. All UK household insurers will contribute to this pool, creating a fund that can be used to pay claims for people in high-risk homes.
At the conference, Councillor James Alexander, leader of City of York Council and representatives from the Association of British Insurers, the National Flood Forum, members of the UK’s insurance businesses and the Federation of Small Businesses and Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Environment Secretary called for such an arrangement to be secured.
Councillor James Alexander said today: “We wanted our conference – the UK’s first one dedicated to this issue – to raise the profile of this issue that affects thousands of people locally, and millions across the country. I’m delighted that the Government has listened to us and other campaigners and has taken the decisive action we called for on the real and worrying problems residents and businesses sited on flood plains face.
“Meanwhile we are planning another related conference in October 2014, dedicated to enhancing community resilience to flooding.”
John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Following the interesting conference I attended earlier this year on flooding insurance problems in the region, I’m pleased that the Government has reached an agreement with the insurance industry to help householders and businesses get affordable insurance against flooding.
“It was obvious to me from my visit that small businesses need help and support too and we now need to see similar action for them. As we know all too well from our members in Yorkshire and the Humber, the consequences of flooding can be devastating for businesses.”
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