So, we really are nearly there now. Last week, the final piece of the jigsaw for Flood Re fell into place, with the signing of the regulations by Floods Minister Rory Stewart. After several years of wrangling and delay, it seems that the scheme will definitely come into force next April, thus ensuring affordable flood insurance for homes across the UK.
I’ve just had a look back to see how long we’ve been writing about this. Incredibly, it is almost exactly three years since we first posted a blog about the end of the Statement of Principles, which covered the agreement between the Government and insurers over flood insurance. The blog concluded: “Something needs to happen quickly.” It didn’t.
We then reported on the seemingly endless difficulties over reaching agreement, with several false dawns. The Association of British Insurers extended the previous scheme while these negotiations continued and then, in May 2013, agreement was reached. But it’s taken over two years since then for the scheme to be drawn up and approved. We’ve had objections, additions, challenges, changes, disagreements…. Then there were technology issues, which held up progress. But in the end, despite lingering dissent over various aspects of the scheme, there was just no better alternative.
So now it’s here, with an operational start for Flood Re in April. What an extraordinary tale but, like all the best stories, it looks like it’s going to have a happy ending.