Water Bill offers solution to flood insurance issue

18 October 2013

The CLA said today (Friday, 28 June) that the Water Bill offers a solution to the issue of providing flood insurance in high-risk areas.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "We welcome the inclusion of measures in the Water Bill announced yesterday to ensure that flood insurance remains affordable in high-risk areas including those in the countryside. This will be of great benefit to landowners struggling to get insurance for rural dwellings.

"The new agreement with insurance companies would cap flood insurance premiums, linking them to council tax bands so that people will know the maximum they will have to pay."

He said: "The Bill contains a regulatory backstop giving the Government legal powers to regulate the insurance industry. This should keep insurance premiums affordable.

"A new industry-backed levy, known as Flood Re, will enable insurance companies to cover those at most risk of flooding. All UK household insurers will have to pay into this pool, creating a fund that can be used to pay claims for people in high-risk homes."

The CLA President added: "I am also very pleased to see the Water Bill has been strengthened by introducing proposals to develop new water sources. This should also help the development of non-water company water storage.

"Making changes to the Bulk Supply Regime will allow water storage owners to become suppliers. This means that in the future farmers and landowners who own storage would be able to sell their water direct to water companies."

Mr Cotterell also welcomed proposals in the Bill to streamline and potentially cut red tape from the licensing regimes for abstraction and impounding of water, for fish pass approvals and for flood defence consents.