Insurers have suggested that substantial revisions to the industry’s agreement with the government guaranteeing the provision of flood cover could be made in the spring.

A range of issues including urban drainage, planning, coastal flooding, data sharing and clarification of which properties should fall under its umbrella could be subject to inclusion or change.

The annual meeting between the ABI and ministers to discuss the agreement, known as the Statement of Principles, is being held next month.

The ABI has already said the occasion would be “heated”.

Despite the escalation

in flood risk in recent years, Norwich Union (NU) has insisted that the Statement of Principles continued to be endorsed by the insurance community.

Arthur Philp, underwriting policy manager at NU, said that insurers would look to raise excesses instead of withdrawing cover entirely.

However, it is thought that with the commercial interests of insurers diverging on the issue, it is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile their positions.

Philp said: “There will always be a risk of insurers withdrawing from the market. But no one wants to create PR issues.”

Alan Gairns, property development manager at Royal & SunAlliance, added: “There will be a difference of opinion. Each insurer has its own appetite for risk.”

A spokesman for the ABI said: “If the government does not play its part, we will not play ours.”

Meanwhile NU, the ABI and Defra officials are conducting a workshop this week to discuss a range of output-based flood risk measures, including state-sponsored funding for flood resilience.