However, government's funding review has fuelled uncertainty regarding future flooding measures

The government has pledged to maintain this year’s planned increase in spending on flood defences, despite the wider clampdown on public expenditure.

Outlining her priorities in the debate on the Queen's Speech, recently appointed environment secretary of state Caroline Spelman told the House of Commons that the threat of flooding remained “all too real”.

She said: “We will therefore maintain an increase in the money that taxpayers spend on flood defences this year, with no impact on the number of households that we protect.”

The previous government committed to spend £780m on measures to tackle floods and coastal erosion in the current financial year, up from £590m in 2007/08.

Spelman’s comments came in the run-up to this week’s announcement by chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne of a fundamental review of what the government will fund in the future.

The review has sparked fresh uncertainty over the ‘statement of principles’ agreement between the ABI and the previous Labour government.

Under the agreement, the insurance industry has pledged to continue to insure homes at significant risk of flooding until 2013 in return for a long-term ministerial strategy to tackle the issue.