ABI repeats flood challenge to UK Government

The Association of British Insurers has released a statement, calling on the Government to commit to a joint solution to ensure long term affordable flood insurance for high-risk households.

The ABI described the current state of talks aimed at reaching an agreement as being “at an impasse”.

The ABI said its challenge follows the Government’s “refusal to consider providing a temporary overdraft facility to a proposed not-for-profit special insurance fund for 200,000 high-risk households which will otherwise struggle to get affordable household insurance when the current arrangements come to an end next year.”

The temporary overdraft facility would have been used to pay claims if there were 2007-style floods in the early years of the scheme before it had built up its reserves.

Nick Starling, Director of General Insurance at the ABI said,

“The Government has indicated it will not provide any temporary overdraft facility for the insurance industry’s not for profit scheme, which makes it very difficult for it to go ahead. As a result, negotiations have hit an impasse. Insurers know their customers are increasingly worried about flood cover and we will therefore continue talks with Government to try and find a way forward.

“The severe floods experienced by many areas of the UK this year are a reminder of the rising flood risk facing the UK. It is therefore vital that insurers and Government tackle this issue together – this is not just a problem for insurers. No country in the world has a free market for flood insurance with high levels of affordable cover without some form of Government involvement.”

The ABI added that contrary to some media reports, the industry is not asking the Government for support funding of any kind.

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