Insurance deal wins support of residents at risk of floods

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THE vast majority of people living in high flood-risk areas back the Government’s landmark deal on insurance, according to a new survey.

Ninety per cent think the breakthrough on flood insurance announced by Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander earlier this summer will be better than current arrangements.

There was less enthusiasm about the cost – only 54 per cent thought the level of premiums proposed in the consultation were fair and over half (55 per cent) did not think it would help them personally.

Several could see drawbacks in the scheme or were sceptical it would actually deliver its early promise.

“The devil is in the detail,” some said and “I’ll believe it when I see it”.

Flood Forum chairman Charles Tucker said: “Ninety per cent of responses we’ve received from our flood groups believe the Government and ABI proposal to introduce a pool and levy model of flood insurance will be better than existing arrangements. And 90 per cent agree with establishing the levy on all household policies to fund the pool. 91 per cent believe it is fair to use council tax bands as the basis for setting flood insurance premiums.”

The deal on flood insurance - which required a Government commitment to spend nearly £400m a year on new flood defences – should provide security for over 400,000 householders in high-flood risk areas. It will be paid for by a levy of £10.50 taken from every household premium to pay for a fund set up to cover the most at-risk homes.

The insurance industry has insisted people’s premiums will not actually rise, however, because the money is already being taken informally under the current Statement of Principles scheme.

However some of the 2,000 who responded to the consultation believe many “not at risk” householders could object.

One commented: “People not at risk of flooding will have to pay more and may refuse to do so.”

However Mr Tucker said: “People who think they are not at flood risk might get a rude awakening one day.

“The majority who have been flooded since 2000 have been flooded by surface water and when you get these intense rain storms they are not in areas which have been identified before as at flood risk.”

Mr Tucker said one concern was many households will remain in limbo during the two years it will take to develop the scheme.