Property industry told to wake up to looming flood blight
Friday 2nd December 2011
Campaigners are stepping up their efforts to make householders more aware of how flood risks could blight their properties, making them unsaleable, unmortgageable and uninsurable.
Ironically, however, ‘experts’ who took part in a round table at Westminster to discuss strategy have been blasted for their own lack of knowledge and been effectively told to wake up.
The ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ campaign is aimed at educating an estimated 200,000 at risk householders, plus the property and mortgages industries, about the so-called Withdrawal of Principles on July 13, 2013.
On that date, insurers are due to back away from insuring properties at flood risk. It is thought they are unlikely to renew insurance policies on flood-risk homes from next July onwards – just seven months away.
Under the Statement of Principles, insurers promised to maintain cover of homes at risk of flooding until July 2013, on the basis that the Government would have done flood protection work by then. The insurance industry says the Government has not stuck to its side of the bargain.
During the round table strategy session hosted by MP Tony Cunningham, key stakeholders from the property industry collectively called for the Government to announce its solution.
They debated the urgent steps that are required in advance of the agreement’s expiry, so home owners who are ‘at risk’ of flooding can continue to obtain affordable insurance.
Those who attended the round table strategy session included representatives from the Association of British Insurers, RICS, Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Law Society, plus individual lawyers, surveyors, insurers and environmental specialists.
But afterwards, Mary Dhonau, chief executive of the ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ campaign, said: “What really struck me was that many of the organisations involved in the round table haven’t yet fully taken on board the potential impact that the expiry of the Statement of Principles may have for home owners, prospective purchasers and the property industry as a whole.”
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