Floods to bar 1000s from home cover

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SIGNIFICANT flood risks affect more homes in Skegness and Boston than anywhere else in the UK, according to a report from the Association of British Insurers.

An estimated 7,550 homes in the constituency face a greater than one in 75 chance of flooding every year.

And the ABI says that without a long-term solution from the government, homeowners in these areas will struggle to get flood insurance when the industry’s voluntary flood agreement ends in June 2013.

ABI’s director general Otto Thoresen said: “We are running out of time to make sure that people in high risk areas are properly protected from the devastation flooding can cause and the ball is now in the government’s court. Insurers want to make sure that every home has access to affordable insurance, should the worst happen, and we’re concerned that those people most at risk will lose out unless the government considers a safety net.”

Insurers claim the current flood insurance model is unfair because those in low flood risk areas are paying more to subsidise those in higher risk areas.

Unless the government acts to ensure flood cover can continue to be provided widely at a competitive price when the current agreement ends in 2013, insurers will have to change their rates, which could leave 200,000 homes across the UK struggling to afford cover.

However the Mayor of Skegness Coun Steve Kirk believes some blame must be apportioned to the insurance companies themselves.

He said: “As far as I am concerned the rates insurance companies charge is legalised theft - they are more than happy to take money when there’s no risk but when there’s a slight risk they want nothing to do with it. We need development on the coast and we need private housing as well as social housing so that we can boost the economy.

“East Lindsey District Council, the Environment Agency and higher authorities should get round the table and sort this out together.”

Porfolio holder for the economy at ELDC Coun Craig Leyland has also stressed the importance of reaching an agreement.

He said: “It is vitally important that flood insurance remains widely available and we’d urge the ABI and government to reach an agreement on a way forward rather than issuing a report and leaving people worried. Both parties must recognise that the Lincolnshire coast has areas of significant deprivation and local people should be able to access reasonable priced policies for their homes.”