I can't possibly agree with Charlie Whelan's sweeping generalisation about businesses and homes affected by flooding in the last couple of years (11 July, Insurance Times).

Of course, some of what he says is true. But there are many people and small businesses who were caught out by freak weather conditions and paid the price.

However, I am sure he is right with his insider's view on government thinking on flood defences.

What really amazes me is how short people's memories are. The flooding in recent winters is a very raw memory for a lot of people, but planning departments are still giving planning permission for riverside developments and people are then buying the houses.

Even if we can't get a government willing to stump up the cash for flood defences, should not the insurance industry bring some pressure to bear for a change in planning policies and run an awareness campaign for the public?

If not, once again we will be labelled as the bad guys when we decline cover.

Richard Lamberth
Managing director
Agency Underwriting