Suffolk: Coastal homes could be left ‘uninsurable’

THOUSANDS of homeowners along the Suffolk coast could struggle to get insurance cover or see their premiums rocket in just two years’ time, it has been warned.

Concerns have been raised because an agreement between the Government and insurance companies to provide cover for homes at risk of flooding is due to end in 2013.

The insurance deal is thought of as “a stopgap” and depends on the Government continuing to provide funding for flood defences.

But with cutbacks to Government budgets taking hold, there is a great deal of uncertainty about what will happen when the deal with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) runs out.

David Andren, deputy chairman of Suffolk Coast Against Retreat (SCAR), said if the Government did not act quickly, homes could become uninsurable or premiums would become too expensive for many.


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“The trouble is, there is a not a lot of time left,” he said. “It’s not enough just to say that local councils or the private sector will step in to make up the shortfall for flood defences.

“We cannot expect there to be insurance for homes at risk if there is insufficent funding for coastal projects and defences.”

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The Government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has expressed concern about the situation, saying there was an “urgent need” for ministers to reach an agreement with the insurance industry.

Defra said three working groups were looking at flood insurance and risk reduction and “a roadmap to take us beyond 2013”. They will report back in July.

The ABI said the key to the arrangement was the continuation of flood defences but it hoped to continue to be able to provide wide insurance cover. It is in talks with Defra.

The issue is set to be discussed at today’s SCAR AGM at the Jubilee Hall at Aldeburgh, which will be attended by Lord Smith, the chairman of the Environment Agency. It starts at 10am and all are welcome.

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