Flood-risk homeowners urged to speak out
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Regulation
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Homeowners at risk of flooding have been urged to speak out amid fears that government plans could leave them without access to affordable flood cover.
The British Property Federation is asking anyone who has seen their premiums rise, or who is finding it hard to obtain buildings insurance for flooding, to fill out a short online questionnaire as it steps up its campaign to ensure that Flood Re, the government’s new flood insurance scheme, will be available to all homeowners.
At present, plans drawn up by DEFRA and the Association of British Insurers would see around 10 million homes excluded for buildings insurance, including the whole private rented sector, the majority of leasehold properties such as flats, Band H homes and homes built after 2009.
With over five million leasehold and four million private rented sector properties in the UK, millions of households could be excluded from the scheme.
Ian Fletcher, BPF director of policy, said: “We urge everyone who has seen the cost of their flood insurance rise to complete this short survey and to circulate it to those in their community who also might be at risk. We would also urge them to alert their MP as to what is going on. Data of this kind will be vital as we continue our lobbying to ensure that all homes will be included in the scheme.
“For government and insurers to say that there is no evidence that people will face an increase in their insurance premiums is not good enough, particularly when Flood Re has yet to be implemented. We are already hearing stories of insurance bills rocketing, and this will only get worse when homeowners are left to sink or swim on the open market.
“We believe it is particularly unjust that leaseholders will be excluded. Saying to people who own their own house that they can have access to affordable insurance, but to people who own their own flat that they cannot, is simply unfair.”