Director-general condemns government’s ‘frustrating’ flood risk policies

The director-general of the ABI, Otto Thorenson, has attacked the government’s refusal to subsidise flood cover in high-risk properties.

Thorenson told The Times the ABI was committed to working with ministers following a written statement to parliament from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which suggested that ministers plan to focus on preventing flood risks rather than subsidising premiums. A DEFRA spokesman said subsidies had not been ruled out.

Thorenson said: “No country in the world has a free market for flood insurance that provides affordable and accessible cover for high-risk households without some form of government involvement.”

The spat comes as the insurance industry and government prepare to hammer out a replacement agreement over flood insurance for the statement of principles, which expires in 2013.