Association calls for the government to establish a single body to take overall responsibility for flooding
The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) has today called for the Government to establish a single body to take overall responsibility for flooding and to co-ordinate a unified approach with the various stakeholders. The call comes as BIBA formally responded to Sir Michael Pitt's Flooding Lessons Learned Review.
BIBA welcomes the commitment that the Government has already given to start implementing the urgent recommendations but is concerned that if action isn't taken to implement the interim conclusions, properties could be left vulnerable or uninsurable.
BIBA believes that the majority of the recommendations in the Pitt report are well thought out sensible points that should not cost the Government a great deal of money.
Graeme Trudgill, BIBA Technical and Corporate Affairs Executive, commented: “We believe the Government should appoint a single body to take overall responsibility for flooding and to co-ordinate a unified approach with the various stakeholders.
“DEFRA should have ultimate responsibility, with the Environment Agency managing the overarching operations with the local authorities and other stakeholders.”
Trudgill added: “Planning rules for new builds in vulnerable areas must also be tightened, particularly in regard to policy planning statement 25: ‘local authorities should not be able to disregard the expert opinion from the environment agency'. Flood resilience must be a key part of building for the future.”
David Meur, Chairman of the BIBA Property committee, comments: “The desperate situation with the lack of insurance in Hull should not be repeated, BIBA members are willing and able to help develop options to improve availability and uptake of low cost contents insurance for local authorities social housing, housing association tenants and low income households. We urge local authorities to act now.”
Trudgill, added: “Ultimately the insurance industry paid out four times the amount on flood claims in 2007 than they would pay in a typical year, if climate change continues and millions of homes are built in more vulnerable areas, the Government MUST implement the recommendations in this report or face the facts that the Insurance Industry will not be able to soak up these claims any more.”