The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has welcomed today’s agreement between Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to ensure that flood insurance remains widely available. Despite this, BIBA believes that there are still properties that will be excluded from this agreement and will need specialist advice from an insurance broker.
Properties which have an annual probability of flooding greater than 1 in 75 (1.3%) and are not due to have flood defences improved within the next five years will not necessarily be covered by the agreement and could face rejection, as could all new build properties from 1st January 2009.
BIBA has worked with broker members to provide a facility that can cover the majority of flood prone properties which have previously been refused insurance cover.
Graeme Trudgill, BIBA’s Technical and Corporate Affairs Executive, said: “We see this agreement between industry and the Government as a really positive step. One that will ensure the future availability of flood cover – this is something that isn’t automatically available throughout the rest of Europe.
“The BIBA facility available through brokers, which can cover the majority of properties prone to flood, has seen a significant increase in cases - in the last year enquiries have increased from 100 to 1,000 each month.”
Eric Galbraith, BIBA Chief Executive, added: “It is clear that there will remain a number of properties unable to obtain cover from this new agreement, particularly where there are no plans in place for local flood defences. These are the properties which will be most affected and it will be important that these customers are aware that cover can be obtained through a BIBA broker.”
BIBA wants to see seven key issues addressed:
- Availability of cover - BIBA and its members will continue to make every effort to make flood insurance available to properties at greater risk of flooding where cover is often refused.
- Government should establish a Cabinet Committee with a remit to improve the country’s ability to deal with flooding and implement the recommendations of the Pitt Review.
- Government should publish an action plan to implement the recommendations of the Pitt Report.
- The proposed Floods and Water Bill must be given sufficient space in the Parliamentary timetable for its rapid implementation.
- The proposed flooding legislation should be a single unifying act that addresses all sources of flooding, clarifies responsibilities and facilitates flood risk management.
- BIBA will work with the Government and insurance industry to deliver a public education programme setting out the benefit of insurance in the context of flooding.
- The Government should review and update the guidance on insurance for all, including a good practice guide for providers of social housing and disseminate it effectively to support the creation of insurance with rent schemes for low income households.
Brokers are well placed to help businesses become more resilient to flood and can offer a range of risk management solutions combined with specific material damage and business interruption insurances.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. To find a BIBA broker who can cover flood affected properties, please call the BIBA consumer helpline on 0870 950 1790 or use the online find a broker service: www.biba.org.uk
2. Click here to see BIBA’s response (April 2008) to the Sir Michael Pitt’s Flooding Lessons Learned Review – Urgent recommendations and interim conclusions
3. The BIBA Manifesto proposals on flooding can be downloaded here. These were:
For further information or to arrange an interview with Graeme Trudgill please contact Leighann Burtrand on 020 7397 0223 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. About BIBA
BIBA is the UK’s leading broker and intermediary organisation, representing professional insurance brokers and intermediaries.
BIBA is committed to playing a central role in the industry, from providing business backing and training for British brokers through to high-level industry representation. We also actively participate in helping the industry and its customers deal with some of the major insurance issues of the day.
BIBA members operate to a very high standard of customer service with the aim of ensuring peace of mind, security, financial protection and the professional advice required.
Authoritative, independent and impartial, BIBA, a not for profit organisation, is uniquely relied upon by brokers and the consumer.
To find your nearest BIBA broker visit the ‘Find A Broker' section of the BIBA website, www.biba.org.uk or call BIBA’s consumer helpline on 0870 950 1790.