West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has moved to reassure residents who are at risk of flooding that affordable home insurance policies will still be available.
Since 2008, a Statement of Principles agreed between the Government and the insurance industry, ensured flood hit homeowners could still get insurance that was affordable. This offered owners some protection from the astronomical costs they would face to rebuild and reinsure their homes after a flood. That agreement was to expire on 30 June 2013.
For over 18 months the Conservative-led Government has been seeking to negotiate a new agreement with the insurance industry. Originally July 2012 was the Government’s deadline for reaching an agreement. A further 12 months on there is a Memorandum of Understanding but still no final agreement. This has led to a temporary extension to the 2008 Statement of Principles.
On 7th November 2012 at Prime Ministers Questions, MP Rosie raised the lack of a new insurance agreement. She was told by the Deputy Prime Minister to expect an announcement in the “not too distant future.”
MP Rosie said:
“I’ve met with people forced out of their homes by flood water damage. Without the security of having insurance they would face total financial ruin. This interim agreement is welcome as it offers some peace of mind for homeowners but the Government needs to speed-up finalising the long-term solution. They’re already 12 months past their own deadline. I just hope the Memorandum of Understanding will become a final deal soon. Homeowners need the security of knowing that they have some protection should they be hit by floods again. I haven’t forgotten what happened in West Lancashire last September and October.”
On the issue of flooding the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee published its report on managing flood risk. It claims spending on flood defences is not keeping pace with the increased risk from severe weather.
The report echoes concerns MP Rosie has raised on the impact of flooding in West Lancashire. Namely the failure to protect food producing farmland and the reduction in spending on the maintenance of flood defences and watercourses.
Speaking about the report MP Rosie said:
“Delivering on insurance is just one aspect of tackling the risk of flooding homeowners and farmers face. I very much welcome this report and the issues it highlights. They very much reflect the issues and concerns raised with me here in West Lancashire after last autumn’s floods.
“The Government should pay close attention to this report and act accordingly in an effort to better protect homes and food production from flooding. It is important that we are more effective in stopping water from causing the kind of flooding and devastation we’ve seen in recent years.”