Thousands of Lincolnshire’s flood-prone coastal properties will be able to gain vital cover after a last minute agreement was struck between the government and insurance industry.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced in last week’s Spending Review that the long awaited deal to provide affordable insurance to homes at high risk of flooding had been finally agreed.
The deal, which follows more than two years of debate, has been welcomed by the MP for Boston and Skeness Mark Simmonds, whose constituency, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), contains more high risk homes than any other.
“Throughout these negotiation I have made clear that my constituents must be able to access affordable home insurance,” he said.
“I have emphasised to both the ABI and DEFRA that the ramifications of a deal not being reached would be damaging not only to Skegness and the East Lincolnshire Coast, but across the UK.”
Local authorities have also expressed their relief that the concerns over flood insurance look likely to end.
“This is something we have been lobbying for and it’s great news that things are moving in the right direction,” said LCC’s executive member for the environment Coun Colin Davie.
Coun Davie was especially pleased to learn that the cost of the agreement would not impact on customers, which ‘will be particularly important for elderly people and low-income households’.
The ABI had warned that failure to reach an agreement would have had far reaching consequences for coastal residents, whose inability to afford insurance may have also impacted on their mortgage repayments, which in turn could have harmed the region’s housing industry.
“The hard work now begins for both sides if we are to make this vision a reality,” said ABI director Otto Thoresen.
Mr Simmonds, Coun Davie and East Lindsey District Council have also welcomed the government’s £370 million in flood defences, which is expected to ensure Lincolnshire remains protected from coastal flooding. “We very much hope some of the funding announced today will be used to fund schemes that protect East Lindsey,” said ELDC’s Coun Craig Leyland.