BIBA and FSB urges MPs to plug the insurance gaps in the Water Bill

4th December 2013

The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) has urged the Water Bill Scrutiny Committee to consider helping those that the bill in its current form specifically excludes.

BIBA’s Property Committee provided written evidence and BIBA’s Executive Director, Graeme Trudgill, provided oral evidence to the Water Bill Scrutiny Committee.

The key concerns raised by BIBA members are around the exclusions in Flood Re. These include customers living in properties built since 2009, those living in council tax band H properties and importantly small businesses who will lose the protection that they currently have under the existing industry agreement, the Statement of Principles, which protects businesses with up to 49 staff.

BIBA believes that at a time when we need to protect small businesses and grow the economy, it will be a retrograde step if small businesses are excluded from any flood solution going forward. 

Trudgill, said: “We think it is important to help small businesses with a turnover of less than £1 million and less than ten staff.  We have had many members raise concerns about flood insurance for small businesses, including cases where we have seen an increased premium for a property 2,000ft above a river and a business that moved next door and received a £2,500 imposed excess despite no flood history.”

Commenting on the UK Government response to the flood insurance consultation John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It is of deep concern that Government has chosen not to include small businesses in its Flood Re scheme. FSB research shows one in five small firms were affected by flooding last year alone. If they can’t use this scheme, small businesses in areas at risk of floods will be forced to pay exorbitantly high costs to be insured against this threat. We want the Government to think again on this issue and we will be looking to Parliamentarians to table amendments to the forthcoming Water Bill.”

BIBA will work with all stakeholders to find a workable solution for small businesses to help provide access to insurance to protect them against the devastating effects of flood.

BIBA are concerned with the exclusion of band H properties and believes that band H does not necessarily relate to the affordability and ability to pay. It could still be very difficult for a band H property to seek flood insurance and BIBA does not believe inclusion of these properties would have any major overall impact.

BIBA is pleased to see positive movement regarding the issue raised by our Property Committee of genuinely uninsurable properties.

BIBA has 130 specialist brokers who can cover flood zone properties.  To find a BIBA broker, call BIBA’s Find a Broker Helpline on 0870 950 1790.

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Notes to editors

1. Click here to view BIBA’s written submission to the Water Bill Scrutiny Committee

2. For further information please contact:

BIBA press office:
Leighann Forsyth, Head of Communications
020 7397 0223
forsythl@biba.org.uk

3. About British Insurance Brokers' Association

The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) is the UK's leading general insurance organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

BIBA membership includes just under 2,000 regulated firms having merged with the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) in November 2011.

General insurance brokers contribute 1% of GDP to the UK economy and BIBA brokers employ more than 100,000 staff.

 

BIBA helps more than 400,000 people a year to access insurance protection through it’s Find a Broker service, both online and via the telephone.

Brokers provide professional advice to businesses and individuals, playing a key role in the identification, measurement, management, control and transfer of risk. They negotiate appropriate insurance protection tailored to individual needs.

BIBA is the voice of the industry advising members, the regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.   BIBA provides unique schemes and facilities, technical advice, guidance on regulation and business support and is helping to raise, and maintain, industry standards.