Homeowners in flood-prone areas may not be covered in the future. That was the stark warning from the ABI's Gemma Hawes at the British Damage Management Association (BDMA) convention last week.

As ...

Homeowners in flood-prone areas may not be covered in the future. That was the stark warning from the ABI's Gemma Hawes at the British Damage Management Association (BDMA) convention last week.

As delegates pressed her over the industry's plans to cover the 200,000 UK homes in high-risk flood areas, Hawes said future cover would be at the expense of strict conditions.

She said: "We will cover homes in flood-prone areas, but only for fire and theft. Cover may be offered only if homes implement prevention schemes."

Amid a heated debate, Hawes defended the ABI's position regarding the statement of principles with the government. "The global nature of the insurance markets, combined with the rise of professional liability has hardened the market. Changes in the climate have made it even harder to cover flood risks."

Presenting fresh evidence that flood claims will quadruple by 2080, Hawes called on the government to act decisively over flood prevention.

Hawes said: "The government has woken up but it hasn't got out of bed."

  • Insurers need to recognise that England has a much higher flood risk than Scotland and reflect this in their premiums.

    Professor David Crichton of the Middlesex University flood hazard research centre claimed Scotland's lower flood risk was due to the work done by flood appraisal groups. He said another factor was the support of the Scottish Executive which had "never refused grant aid for a flood defence on the grounds of lack of money" he said.

    He said there were 21 flood appraisal groups in Scotland and 27 local authorities were involved.