Biba addresses concerns before the Water Bill Scrutiny Committee

Biba has urged MP’s to reassess customers excluded from Flood Re in evidence given before the Water Bill Scrutiny Committee.

Biba executive director Graeme Trudgill provided evidence to the committee and raised concerns about customers who will be excluded from accessing cover.

Customers living in properties built since 2009, those living in council tax band H properties and small businesses are currently excluded from accessing cover under Flood Re.

However, they are included under the existing industry agreement, the Statement of Principles, which protects businesses with up to 49 staff.

Trudgill said: “We think it is important to help small businesses with a turnover of less than £1m and less than 10 staff.  We have had many members raise concerns about flood insurance for small businesses, including cases where we have seen an increased premium for a property 2,000ft above a river and a business that moved next door and received a £2,500 imposed excess despite no flood history.”

Federation of Small Businesses national chairman John Allan said: “It is of deep concern that government has chosen not to include small businesses in its Flood Re scheme. FSB research shows one in five small firms were affected by flooding last year alone. If they can’t use this scheme, small businesses in areas at risk of floods will be forced to pay exorbitantly high costs to be insured against this threat. We want the government to think again on this issue and we will be looking to parliamentarians to table amendments to the forthcoming Water Bill.”

Biba has said it will continue to work with all stakeholders to find a workable solution for small businesses.

Biba also raised concerns about the exclusion of band H properties.

It believes it could still prove difficult for a band H property to seek flood insurance and that the inclusion of these properties will not have any major overall impact.