When Flood Re launches in April, around 350,000 homes will benefit from being able to access affordable insurance for properties at risk of flood. I don’t know about you but I think it is a rational and fair system by which to include a large group of homeowners that previously were prohibited from insuring against flood risk – so although it costs me a little more, that’s what being part of a civilised society means.
We should spare a thought for those homeowners that will not be afforded a chance through Flood Re; those being people with properties built after 2009 but in high flood risk areas. How included in civilised society will I feel if my premiums were to dramatically increase to cover the high risk homes?
As with modern life, the solutions to the problems are seldom simple and our great friend hindsight may have steered us to different conclusions than those that currently haunt communities.
Why build on high flood risk areas? Each year we are advised that there is pressure for more homes to be built and yet each year it is never enough. How much does the pressure on local authority budgets accelerate the fast tracking of planning and development and does this meet a more rigorous or long term criteria? The socio-political and commercial worlds collide. Why should insurers shoulder responsibility and increase the risk to its book? What about nationally funded programmes to prevent those reasonably anticipated flood events from becoming reality?
One thing we can predict is the sheer unpredictability of extreme weather events. However reports suggest we are learning more about water management from the Low Countries and considering how land can be better utilised in more natural ways to ease sudden increases in water volumes.
The modern world is a small and complex place, ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away, it just pops up somewhere else. Whether it’s the Syrian humanitarian crisis or flood issues on our doorstep, the cost of failure will have an impact on every one of us. The future for everyone will be better if we adopt the three Cs – Compassion, along with Common and Commercial sense in equal measure.
Flood Re is a step forward for many. Let’s hope ‘society’ can work towards a variety of solutions for all.
Read about Flood Re here.