Association to meet flood minister Dan Rogerson on 23 June

Biba’s survey on the impact of Flood Re exclusions has found evidence that small businesses (SMEs) will struggle to get affordable cover when the scheme comes into force in 2015.

But Biba has also stressed that it is not calling for SMEs to be included in Flood Re.

Flood Re will exclude SMEs from its scope, even though they are covered by the current Statement of Principles, which Flood Re will replace from July 2015.

The trade body will meet flood minister Dan Rogerson to discuss how to tackle classes of business excluded from Flood Re at a roundtable on 23 June.

Biba conducted the survey of brokers and insurance customers in response to the government’s call for evidence about problems getting affordable cover for excluded groups.

The survey found that even under the Statement of Principles, it is increasingly difficult to buy and place insurance for SMEs, and brokers and customers feel it will be even more difficult once the Statement expires.

Some customers told Biba that if the price of their flood insurance increases, they would need to make a number of sacrifices, including taking out insurance without flood cover or even moving their home or business.

Some brokers and businesses cited examples of flood cover being removed from their policies and excesses of up to £30,000 being added.

Biba chief executive Steve White said: “Flood Re is a valuable solution for home owners at risk of flood and Biba fully supports it.

“We are holding constructive discussions with [Rogerson], the ABI and with insurers. We are not calling for SME’s to have to be included in the proposed Flood Re model, but are aiming to find a positive way forward for our members and their customers to provide access to affordable insurance in the future.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is conducting its own research into the availability of flood cover, which is designed to complement the evidence gathered from the industry.

In response to a Parliamentary question on Wednesday, Rogerson said Defra had considered Biba’s survey “with interest”.

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