New insurance deal ‘has to be realistic’

Back in the office after the floods, at Ryburne Brokers, Market Street, Hebden Bridge. Pictured are Simon Waring, Mandy Gogoley and Adam Speak.
Back in the office after the floods, at Ryburne Brokers, Market Street, Hebden Bridge. Pictured are Simon Waring, Mandy Gogoley and Adam Speak.

Politicians and businesspeople have called on the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to make flood insurance “realistic and affordable” if and when it agrees its new statement of principles.

The agreement, which currently guarantees affordable flood insurance for all, was due to expire at the end of last month but has now been extended to July 31,

But even with the current agreement in place, in the aftermath of the June 2012 floods business owners and house holders have contacted Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker for help and advice after being quoted excesses of up to £20,000 to renew policies and in some cases were point blank refused. Mr Whittaker said: “Without doubt the biggest issue that has come through after the clear-up is the amount of insurance issues for people. In particular, people are finding that they can’t get re-insured, their premiums have escalated or they have a massive excess placed on their policy. People can’t get insured at a price they can afford but we hope to see, at the end of July, a better deal when the Government and insurance industry announce the results of their negotiations.”

Calderdale Council Leader Tim Swift said: “I think the biggest need now is for some certainty for everybody. The existing arrangements have not been working for people for some time and we need an announcement from the Government and the ABI that will give some certainty. The level of cover people can get has got to be realistic. It’s about affordable premiums and realistic excesses.”

Simon Waring, from Ryburne Brokers, Hebden Bridge, said: “There’s an agreement between the ABI and the Government which was hastily renewed this month, but the wording of the agreement is very grey.

“The Government and insurance companies need to sit down and talk specifics.”