£5m flood fund should include free home surveys

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) has called on the Government to work closely with the insurance industry to protect households and businesses across the UK from flooding.

In its response to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) consultation into flood protection for homes and businesses, Biba has called for a range of flood protection measures.

DEFRA has promised £5m to help flood vulnerable homes, including a free home survey to assess the flood risk.

BIBA is calling for the package to include:

• Free flood surveys for homes and businesses in high-risk flood-zones – not limited to low-income families;

• The Government to make it compulsory to carry out resilient repair work on high-risk properties;

• A VAT exemption for all flood repair work to encourage all home-owners and businesses to take the necessary steps to protect their property;

• The Government to develop updated and detailed flood-maps with the insurance industry in order to gain a better picture of risks to UK homes and businesses;

• Insurers to offer discounts or improved terms and conditions for responsible property owners who act to reduce flood risk.

Biba believes that the Government’s plans should focus primarily on homes and small businesses in high-risk flood-zones.

Graeme Trudgill, Biba technical and corporate affairs executive said: “We support the Government’s plans but want to ensure that flood prevention is the priority. We don’t want to see money washed away fixing the effects - let’s focus on the causes.

“It is in a property owner’s interest to plan for the long-term but this can be expensive. That’s why we are calling on the Government to provide VAT exemptions for responsible home-owners and businesses who invest to protect their property.

“We will also be working closely with the insurance industry to seek discounts and improved terms for those who take the appropriate steps to prevent flooding.”

A DEFRA spokesman said the consultation ended today and all responses would be considered carefully.