Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has urged the government to spend more on flood prevention to protect homeowners from uninsured losses.

It wants an extra £10m to £30m spent yearly, on top of existing increased levels of expenditure. The government's current flood defence budget for England and Wales is £564m.

R&SA said that five million people were at risk of flooding in the UK, with a further 1.5 million at high risk. This is set to increase - around 200,000 new homes are planned for South East England in risk areas.

Alan Gairns, R&SA's property development manager said: "More needs to be done, particularly with the potential for climate change to affect weather patterns drastically and cause disaster for homeowners and businesses."

R&SA's calls come just weeks after the ABI criticised the government for failing to deliver on its commitment to reduce the risk of flooding.

R&SA said its recommendations for flood prevention included the following:

  • Building in flood risk areas to be a last resort
  • A plan for the future of the Thames Barrier to be a priority
  • The Environment Agency to complete its flood database and provide it to insurers.
  • Meanwhile, research by Norwich Union has revealed that one in three UK flood victims fears the threat of flooding is increasing, with nearly half of those surveyed believing their property will be at risk again.