Flood-risk insurance could be on the rise

UNDER WATER Flooding in Wallington late last year
UNDER WATER Flooding in Wallington late last year
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FEARS have been raised that homes in flood-prone areas could be priced out of house insurance if the government doesn’t step in.

People living in Wallington in Fareham are on the front line of the fight, as parts of the village are at high risk of flood.

Shortly before Christmas the village was left under water and it could have been far worse as a crack appeared in the river wall, but held after action was taken by the emergency services.

The Wallington Village Residents’ Association has been working the National Flood Forum, a charity representing those at risk of flooding.

The forum is challenging the government to demonstrate that it is committed to protecting people at risk of flooding and is calling on it to announce proposals that ensure that flood-risk insurance is available and affordable beyond June 2013.

Alan Humphrey of North Wallington said: ‘When we had the floods in 2000 I was fully insured and I had a metre-and-a-half of water right the way through the house. The claim cost £31,500 and it took them six months to get it all properly sorted.

‘Can you imagine what that would be like if you can’t get cover?

‘I know someone who wanted to sell their house around here and then we had the floods before Christmas and they stopped the transaction straight away.’

In March last year, the government promised it was serious about finding a solution to flood-risk insurance, when the current agreement with the insurance industry runs out in June. But with the deadline approaching, people are getting worried.

Paul Cobbing, chief executive of the National Flood Forum, said: ‘We’re still waiting.

‘Despite endless assertions that a solution is just around the corner, nothing substantive has happened since Owen Patterson took office as Secretary of State for Defra last September.

‘The current situation just is not good enough.

‘The government has failed to take straight forward decisions and as a result people across the country will be left at risk of not being able to get household insurance with flood risk cover at a reasonable price.’