Government urged to review its flood data constantly
Insurers and the Environment Agency should be regularly scrutinised over the flood data they are compiling – otherwise SMEs face unfair pricing on the back of old flood data, Henderson Insurance Brokers Teeside managing director Jonathan Willett warns.
Willett said: “It is vital that data compiled by the Environment Agency and insurance companies, which often have their own programmes and criteria to assess flood risk, is regularly scrutinised to ensure it is up-to-date and completely accurate.
“Stokesley, for example, has not flooded for years, but is classified as high risk by some insurers. This means that policy premiums and claim excesses are needlessly inflated and could mean that relatively safe areas become an insurance exclusion zone for small businesses.”
Willett wants the government to help SMEs gain affordable flood cover. In the meantime, he warned it is very tough for recently flooded firms.
He told The Gazette Live: “We all have seen the grim images of business premises feet deep in dirty water and devastated owners ripping out fixtures and fittings.
“Business owners also have talked about not having insurance because quotes for premiums had gone up tenfold or huge excesses, in some cases comprising 25% of a claim or £10,000, which ever was the higher, had been mooted.
“That sort of financial outlay understandably is beyond some small businesses.”
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said they review their flood data constantly.