With winter approaching, there’s lots in the news about floods.
Firstly, the new scheme for affordable flood insurance, Flood Re, has now been in operation for six months and apparently 53,000 properties have been protected through it, which is great. And having started with 16 insurers, there are now 41 providing cover to high-risk properties under the scheme. But there’s still a long way to go, with an estimated 350,000 homes which could benefit from more affordable flood insurance.
One problem with extending Flood Re’s reach, according to its Chief Executive, is that the government and insurers still use language which is difficult to understand, leaving consumers confused about risks and what is available. He’s advised them to check the Flood Re website to see which insurance providers are now participating and to find out more. And the Association of British Insurers has advised people to shop around to see how this more competitive market can help them.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty of discussion about flood defences. According to the Daily Mail, the system for allocating funds to defence schemes is skewed towards the south east because it is tied to the value of property.
Apparently flood protection projects need to demonstrate that they deliver more in benefits than they cost, based on calculating the economic losses avoided through protecting property and infrastructure. So this would make flood defence schemes in the south east look more economically attractive as property prices are higher. There are measures in place to avoid favouring wealthier areas, but many claim that the funding formula is not fit for purpose.
And finally, there was a recent news item in the Yorkshire Post which is rather surprising. Apparently at least 1,200 homes have been built in the last five years in areas at high-risk of flooding, despite opposition from the Environment Agency. These figures may not be the full story as the Agency isn’t always informed about the outcome of any objections it lodges against development. With the increasing amount of flooding, it seems extraordinary that this is still happening.
As always, we’ll keep you updated on any flooding news.