Millions needed for flooding insurance

INSURERS have called for millions of pounds of extra cash to be invested in East Anglia's coastline to fend off the increasing threat of flooding.The Association of British Insurers (ABI) warns that the east coast is particularly vulnerable to the threat of rising sea levels and that more investment is needed now in coastal flood defences.

INSURERS have called for millions of pounds of extra cash to be invested in East Anglia's coastline to fend off the increasing threat of flooding.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) warns that the east coast is particularly vulnerable to the threat of rising sea levels and that more investment is needed now in coastal flood defences.

The report, which claims a 40cm rise in sea levels could happen as soon as 2040, comes just days after many parts of north Suffolk were left under water as floods hit the area.

It assesses the threat from rising sea levels and examines the impact on the east coast of Britain. In East Anglia, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft were the two places highlighted as being under threat.


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It is claimed nearly 1,000 properties in the two towns could suffer serious flooding if a major storm were to happen. A 40cm sea level rise could increase the number of at risk properties to 17,600 and send overall costs of the damage spiralling to £578 million.

The research, released yesterday, was carried out by Entec UK, one of the UK's largest environment and engineering consultancies, alongside Risk Management Solutions and Risk & Policy Analysts.

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It found:

n A 40cm rise in sea levels will put an extra 130,000 properties at risk of flooding across the country. In total, 400,000 properties will be at risk, up nearly 50% on the current number.

n Without improvements to existing flood defences, the cost of a major coastal flood could soar by 400% and cost as much as £16billion.

n Essential services and lives will be at risk - 15% of fire and ambulance stations and 12% of hospitals and schools are in flood-risk areas.

n The elderly will be particularly affected as the number living on, or moving to, the coast is well above the national average.

The report recommended investing in improved coastal defences to reduce the number of properties at risk. An extra £8 billion needs to be spent over the next 25 to 30 years to improve coastal defences along the east coast, it said.

Stephen Haddrill, director general of the ABI, said: “Climate change is happening now, and we need to act now to manage it. Flooding is expensive, disruptive and distressing. This report shows that Britain needs a sustained and prolonged investment in coastal flood defences. This investment needs to start now.”

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