Julian writes to Minister on Flooding and Flood Insurance

Canterbury has more than 4,000 properties at risk of flooding, many of whose owners will find it difficult to get insurance after 2013, when the current agreement between the Government and the insurance industry comes to an end in June 2013.

Julian commented: “As I represent an area with a significant flood risk, I am concerned that a new agreement be put in place as soon as possible, as none of my constituents want to be left in a situation where they cannot get flood insurance if they are in an area of designated risk. I have written to the Minister, Owen Paterson, as I did to his predecessor, Richard Benyon, to state my concerns.”

In his letter, Julian stated:

“Canterbury City Council tries to avoid flood plains for building, and there has been a good deal of flood prevention work undertaken to reduce the risk of flooding from the River Stour. However, the increased number of properties, with their drainage systems connected to the main pipework, has resulted in many more floods than previously, when water would naturally drain away. In my constituency, there are several areas where flooding happens due to local bournes rising following a long period of heavy rainfall. It is already difficult for them to get insurance, as the last two times the bournes flooded, the continuing rainfall meant that the main sewerage system was unable to cope, and my constituents suffered severe sewage flooding.

“Flood insurance is a vital part of responsible household protection, and I am concerned that flood insurance should remain competitive and available to those who need it. Flooding is not normally preventable, and can be costly and destructive, and evidence shows that flooding problems have increased over the past decade, partly due to changed rainfall patterns. I was concerned to see that the average cost of a flood claim is far higher than that for fire or theft, both of which are routinely covered by domestic property insurers.

“I believe it is vitally important that we find a solution for post-2013 that will allow householders to shop around for insurance for flood risk, and know that they will be able to buy or sell properties without risk of being left without insurance.”