Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Insurers urge councils to adopt a 'zero tolerance' approach to houses built on flood plains

Out-Law News | 20 Feb 2014 | 2:30 pm |

Following a meeting with ministers in Downing Street insurers have urged councils to block developers attempting to make a "quick buck" from building on areas at risk of flooding as part of a new "zero tolerance" approach.

According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, attendees representing 79% of the insurance industry openly criticised developers for building "cheap and cheerful" houses on floodplains.

New homes will not be covered if they are built on floodplains under the new flood insurance regime which comes into force in 2015. The scheme is designed to ensure that homes located in flood-prone areas are guaranteed affordable insurance, with a cap on premiums and excess payments.

The Telegraph reports that, despite the exemption for new build properties, more than 4,000 homes have been built on flood plains since 2009. In addition, councils have published plans to build hundreds of new homes in some of the areas that have been hardest hit by the recent heavy storms and floods.

The deputy director general of the Association of British insurers, Huw Evans, stated: "It will require a lot of vigilance by local authorities and the Environment Agency. It [the new insurance regime] shouldn't be unconditional and support bad development from companies out to make a quick buck.

"We were very clear as insurers that these people will not get covered by the new scheme and that this should not be encouraged at all."