Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman met with insurance providers, community groups and other partners yesterday for further discussions on managing flood risks and ensuring flood insurance remains widely available in England once the current “Statement of Principles” agreement runs out in 2013.
Delegates listened to updates on the progress of three working groups set up at the Flood Summit in September 2010 and heard about some of the options being considered for flood insurance beyond 2013.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:
“As someone who has been flooded out and had to live in temporary accommodation I appreciate how devastating the effects of flooding can be, but the willingness of everyone to try to find a way forward is extremely encouraging. We will continue to seek views and provide an update in the autumn, with the aim of reaching a decision by the spring.”
“I am also pleased to confirm that the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England has now come into effect.”
The working groups are made up of representatives from the insurance industry, the National Flood Forum, the Environment Agency, local government and other organisations with expertise or an interest in the issues being discussed.
Nick Starling, ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, said:
“The time has come for action. We all need to work together now with urgency to implement a model to replace the Statement of Principles which expires in June 2013. Insurers are determined to do all they can to ensure a sustainable market for flood insurance for their customers.”
Charles Tucker, chairman of the National Flood Forum, said:
“We are very pleased by the strong expression of support by the Secretary of State for the work of the National Flood Forum. There have been some significant improvements identified for how the institutions work together in future. The National Flood Forum welcomes these and the ongoing work to develop a new framework that will ensure fairness, access and affordability of flood insurance.”
Graeme Trudgill, Head of Corporate Affairs at the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), said:
“It’s been very important for BIBA to work closely with Government and other stakeholders to develop a way forward to help families and businesses. A key area of this work will culminate in helping customers to better understand how to access cover for a flood risk property, how brokers can support their insurance application and how BIBA can signpost people to find suitable insurance protection.”
The meeting coincided with the introduction of the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England, which came into affect yesterday. The National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy provides a national framework for communities to develop local partnerships and solutions to the flood and coastal erosion risks they face.
- Yesterday’s meeting was a follow-up to the Flood Summit hosted by Flooding Minister Richard Benyon in September last year.
- The Statement of Principles is an agreement between the government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to enable flood insurance to be widely available. It was agreed in July 2008 and expires in 2013.
- For more information on the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy please visit** **the Environment Agency website http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/policy/130073.aspx.