Millions of householders in flood risk areas face the prospect of being unable to insure their homes against flooding without continued public investment in flood risk management, the Local Government Association has warned.
The LGA said that an agreement between the government and the insurance industry, which is set to expire in 2013, currently allows homes and businesses in flood risk areas to purchase insurance cover, “so long as the government is doing its part to mitigate the risks”.
The LGA warned that the insurance industry could refuse to offer affordable insurance cover if public spending cuts meant it did not have confidence that sufficient resources were being invested in flood defences.
Cllr Gary Porter (Con), left, LGA Environment Board chairman, said: “The government has made it clear there are going to be deep cuts in public spending. But there is a real danger that if sufficient resources are not put into managing the risk of flooding millions of households could find themselves in the awful position of being unable to insure their property against the risk of floods.
“We all remember the destruction that the 2007 floods caused. It is absolutely imperative that the government does all it can to reduce the risk of it happening again and that if it does, ordinary people are not left to fend for themselves.”
One in six properties in England and Wales is currently at risk of flooding and spending on flood risk management will need to double to £1bn per year by 2035 just to maintain the number of properties currently protected from flooding, the LGA said.