So the Water Bill is back in the House of Lords this week – but there is a growing sense of desperation around Flood Re, the proposed new agreement between Government and insurers on affordable flood insurance which is included in the Bill. Recent reports suggest that there may not be a firm agreement on this until 2016 – another year on from the original date – which is all the more frustrating amid the current extensive flooding in Somerset and Kent.
There has been a constant stream of possible stumbling blocks reported in the press (we’ve written about some of these in previous blogs). The latest is to do with the exclusion of leasehold and housing association properties as well as the private rented sector, because strictly speaking these need commercial rather than residential buildings insurance. The proposed agreement as it currently stands would also exclude houses built after 2009 and properties in council tax band H.
This represents many millions of homes which will not be covered by the scheme and therefore may not in future be able to obtain flood insurance.
A plea to reconsider the proposals
The Council of Mortgage Lenders has made a very valid point: that it’s difficult to believe the original intent was to exclude a swathe of residential property. A spokesman has been quoted as saying: “Given that this appears to be an unintended consequence, we strongly urge legislators and the insurance industry to reconsider the proposals and ensure flood cover remains available on homes as people would expect.”
No wonder the final date seems to be receding before our very eyes.