Flood insurance fears for small businesses

Fears over extortionate insurance excesses on a main Leeds road heavily flooded by storms in late 2015 are continuing more than a year later '“ and could drive small businesses out, a meeting heard.

Flooding in Kirkstall Road. 27 December 2015. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Members of Leeds City Council’s Scrutiny Board for City Development met on Wednesday to hear about prevention work which has taken place in the wake of Storm Eva.

And council flood risk manager Jonathan Moxon told the board that a business on Kirkstall Road reported their insurance excess rocketing from £1,000 before the floods to £250,000 afterwards.

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Kirkstall councillor Lucinda Yeadon, who is also deputy leader of the council, said: “They are still really struggling with this issue of insurance and confidence I think.”

She added: “I’m still speaking to businesses now that are thinking about moving once their leases are up.

“It’s a significant issue. We’ve been promised the government will come up with some assurances for businesses. We are still waiting for those assurances.”

In Leeds, 4,712 properties were flooded – 2,826 internally – after the December 2015 storms.

An excess is a contribution people are required to pay towards a claim they make on their insurance.