BIBA has a very constructive working relationship with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and we sit on the DEFRA Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Roundtable. We are pleased to see the long-awaited Government responses on three major areas of work being:
- the Independent Review of Flood Insurance in Doncaster (by Amanda Blanc);
- local factors in managing flood and coastal erosion risk and property flood resilience; and,
- the consultation on Amendments to the Flood Re Scheme.
BIBA welcomes the DEFRA view that PFR should be encouraged and we are pleased to see so many insurers now recognising the benefits of their use with greater acceptance of these measures in claims. We look forward to the next DEFRA PFR consultation in Autumn 2021 as a means to drive this forward.
We are pleased Flood Re will have more regular levy reviews – every three years (currently every five years) and will allow discounted premiums where properties install resilience measures, and that they will be encouraging build back better during flood claims. BIBA encourages the bringing forward of relevant enabling legislation as soon as possible (provisionally stated as April 2022).
BIBA is committed to working with the ABI and Flood Re to launch a new flood insurance directory in the coming months which aims to help more consumers access flood insurance more easily. We are finalising the directory build now and will be encouraging all of the insurance industry to signpost to it. In addition, we will soon be asking those firms that can place flood risks and wish to be listed in the directory.
We welcome Government’s comments that they recognise planning and policy regulations could better support PFR and look forward to action in this area. Currently inappropriate building on flood plains may well result in uninsurable homes and premises. Similarly, we are pleased Government will be driving up compliance with planning rules.
BIBA will work with the rest of the insurance industry to ensure the plans announced on 29 July 2021 will be implemented successfully and in a manner that helps to address some of the barriers constraining the PFR market, allowing it to grow, innovate and mature.
The Independent Review of the Doncaster Floods raised an important point about affordability of the Flood Re premium for contents only cover in low income households, highlighting that their cover for council tax band A and B properties is £52. We note Governments position not to change the minimum premium at this stage but would encourage further discussion and review in the near future in order to improve the level of insurance protection here.
We look forward to working with DEFRA and representing issues from the insurance broker sector to help Government in building the new PFR roadmap by the end of 2022.
View the DEFRA PFR consultation here.
BIBA members can reas our April 2021 response to the DEFRA consultation here.