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Hull MP calls for local people to give their views on new flood insurance plan

Hull North MP Diana Johnson has contacted constituents highlighting shortcomings in the Coalition Government’s recently announced flood insurance scheme – ‘Flood Re’.

The Labour MP is asking for local constituents’ views about the scheme, which she will then pass on to the Government. Hundreds of Hull North families have already come forward with their concerns about the new scheme.

‘Flood Re’, it is intended, will replace the former Labour Government’s Statement of Principles, a five-year agreement with insurers that maintained the availability of flood insurance in flood risk areas. This expired in July 2013.

There are a number of serious flaws with the ‘Floor Re’ scheme:

  1. Even under a proposed limit on the cost of flood insurance it could still cost home-owners up to £540 a year.

  2. ‘Flood Re’ gives no cover to houses built from 1 January 2009, blighting new housing development in much of Hull.

  3. Under the new scheme, there is no guarantee that there will be sufficient funds to cope with major incidents like the 2007 Hull floods. Even the Government estimates that there is a 58% risk of their new scheme failing.

  4. ‘Flood Re’ is only meant to be a short-term deal. In the longer term the Coalition Government plans a free market for flood insurance that could leave many Hull homes uninsurable, damaging the local housing market.

Diana Johnson MP has pledged to deliver in person letters received from Hull North constituents on ‘Flood Re’ to the DEFRA Secretary Owen Paterson.

Diana Johnson MP said: “The Government took three years to negotiate their proposals for the future of flood insurance with the insurance industry. Sadly their resulting ‘Flood Re’ scheme has several flaws in it for householders in Hull and other flood-risk areas.

“The Government claims to be protecting tax-payers with their ‘Flood Re’ scheme, but people in flood-risk areas are tax-payers too! Even under the cap, Hull home-owners will face very high flood insurance bills at a time when we have a cost of living crisis.

“There are doubts about whether the scheme will be financed well enough to cope with another flood of the scale that Hull suffered in 2007.

“By not covering homes built after 1 January2009 it seems that further house-building in areas such as Hull North’s Kingswood may not be insurable against flooding. Many recently built homes could be blighted, damaging the local housing market.

“Worse still, the Government’s longer term intention for a pure free market approach to flood insurance would effectively abandon flood-risk areas such as Hull. The same Coalition Government that cut flood defence investment by 27% now proposes to leave thousands of Hull residents in flood insurance limbo.

“We need the Government to address the flaws in their scheme. I will pass on all letters I receive on ‘Flood Re’ from Hull North constituents to the DEFRA Secretary.”

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