Lack of Flood Insurance leads to drop in property prices.

The Know Your Flood Risk campaign says that more must be done to protect home owners at risk of flood and that:
– A number of Britain’s banks are reneging on a Government agreement to provide insurance for homes at risk of flood
– Many home owners without flood insurance are having to reduce their asking price by tens of thousands of pounds to secure a sale
– Residential home owner/occupiers are losing out on insurance; buy-to-let investments are covered with commercial insurance cover  
– Know Your Flood Risk campaign is calling for the industry to work together
Despite a Government agreement with the insurance industry designed to protect more than half a million properties at risk of flood, some of Britain’s biggest banks are now refusing to renew flood insurance.  The result of which is that the value of homes which are at risk of flooding has decreased significantly with home owners having to reduce their asking price by tens of thousands of pounds in order to secure a sale.
James Sherwood-Rogers, Chair of the Know Your Flood Risk (KYFR) campaign, said:
"We are more at risk of flood than ever before yet less is being done to protect home owners.  The Statement of Principles between the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Government commits insurers to continue to provide flood insurance under certain scenarios.  Once the Statement comes to an end in 2013, however, the future for insuring against flood is uncertain.  As matters currently stand, as of 2013, indications are that vulnerable home owners will be unable to sell their property and will be at risk of a potentially huge bill to repair their home.
This news follows the recent Government announcement that, in spite of the fact that the UK has seen unprecedented levels of flooding in recent years such as in 2007 which saw the wettest summer since records began in 1766, spending on flood defences will be cut by 27% to £259m in 2011-12.  Whilst 630 schemes had previously been in line for funding in 2011-2012 alone, only 356 of 1,500 projects tabled until 2015 are now set to receive capital funding.  Such drastic spending cuts do not assist in reaching an agreement between the Government the ABI to help protect home owners after 2013.
Whilst the Government is keen to reduce its overall spending and make billions of pounds worth of savings, to cut spending on flood defences is a false economy as statistics show that for every £1 spent on defending against flooding, at least £6 is saved to the economy. When you consider that during the summer months of 2007 over 48,000 homes and 9,000 businesses were flooded, causing the country approximately £3.1 billion damage, to reduce the amount spent on flood defences just doesn’t add up in the long-term. Given the difficult economic climate and the drop in prices the UK’s property market has experienced over the past few years, to effectively enforce a further drop in many properties’ prices does little to increase the country’s chances of a full economic recovery."
The ‘Know Your Flood Risk Campaign’ launched in 2009 and aims to educate and provide practical guidance and support to help protect homeowners, businesses and property professionals. Since its launch, more than 200 members have joined the campaign, including legal and property professionals, housing developers, flood protection specialists and homeowners, through to national government and local authorities.
For more information on the Know Your Flood Risk campaign, visit www.knowyourfloodrisk.co.uk.
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