I read with interest your article by Michael Faulkner reporting on the response to the Pitt Report. As an experienced business continuity and disaster recovery professional I feel that the Pitt Report creates a more focused and integrated approach to managing major flood
crises. However with the insurance industry’s pledge to provide insurance to homes at significant risk, they must not forget that with this pledge comes responsibility.
The industry should not be allowed to simply ‘pull-out’ under the guise of any government inadequacy. They themselves must bear responsibility to lead at all levels of flood planning, response and recovery.
As financial pressure is being forced upon government to provide extra funding it’s as though the industry thinks no increased tax burden will follow. Insurers should therefore seek methods to more financially contribute within the spirit of the report. Providing financial premium incentives to support those businesses which have accredited business continuity and response plans is one area worth consideration.
One practical and innovative method is to provide funding for specialist, flood crisis management IT tools to support local resilience forums.
In this quest, the initial step should be to support the Fire and Rescue authorities – as it is they who will carry the brunt of the new statutory duty and play the leading role in providing future flood rescue services. Providing financial support to these emergency services is not a new concept. Insurance companies know it’s the hallmark and culture of where most Fire and Rescue services evolved. They must keep in mind that the whole point of insurance is for it to be there when it is most needed.
The ABI now has an excellent opportunity to ensure it is. They have a practical opening to take responsibility and lead, safe in the knowledge that they will have purposefully helped their customers not to be left ‘high and dry’ during any future flood crises.