Water Bill raises hopes of deal with industry

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The Government hopes to include a new deal with the insurance industry offering protection to homeowners in flood risk areas as part of a Water Bill to be unveiled later this year.

Negotiations between Ministers and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have been ongoing for well over a year regarding the replacement of the existing deal which allows people at flood risk to obtain home insurance.

That deal, known as the ‘Statement of Principles’, is due to expire next month, potentially leaving around 200,000 people unable to insure their homes.

Ministers insist a new deal is inching closer, but campaigners and MPs from flood-hit communities have warned fresh legislation may then be required to get any agreement up and running – raising questions about how long that process might take.

The Government said yesterday new measures could be inserted into the forthcoming Water Bill as it passes through Parliament.

“The Water Bill is the best vehicle for taking measures to address the availability and affordability of flood insurance,” a statement from Number 10 said.

A draft version of the Bill, published last year, did not include measures to address flood insurance, but focused on a shake-up of the water industry – allowing businesses to choose their water supplier for the first time.