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Insurers' plea over floods strategy
Politicians must ensure rigorous planning to prevent building in flood plains as well as enough flood defences planning, say insurers
Insurers urged politicians to ensure there is a rigorous planning system to prevent building in flood plains and enough spending on flood defences.
Government support is also needed to ensure that flood insurance remains widely available and affordable, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) will warn at a Labour Party flood summit.
A deal between government and insurers to ensure people in high-risk areas continue to be insured against flooding expires in June and Labour has warned that 200,000 homeowners will face difficulties getting insurance once it ends.
Labour is urging the Government to end its "brinkmanship" in negotiations with the insurance industry and secure a new deal to provide certainty for at-risk households and businesses.
At the flood summit, the ABI is calling for cross-party support for moves to tackle the rising risk of flooding in the UK, which last year was hit by one of the wettest years on record and numerous floods around the country.
A rigorous planning system is needed to prevent development in high flood risk areas, said the ABI, which also demands sustained, long-term flood defence spending that keeps pace with the threat of flooding, with funding focused on areas most in need.
Despite concerns that climate change will increase flood risk, building in the flood plains has increased by 12% in a decade, compared with 7% in the rest of England.
The ABI is also demanding sustained, long-term flood defence spending that keeps pace with the threat of flooding, with funding focused on areas most in need.
Flood defence spending has been cut by the Government, despite warnings by the Environment Agency that an extra £20 million a year was needed to maintain the current level of protection.
The ABI and the Government have been in talks over a new deal to ensure at-risk properties would continue to be insured, which would provide a pot of money raised from insurance premiums for paying claims in the event of serious flooding events but the Government said it will not provide a temporary overdraft facility for the fund.