YEP Says: Insurance move is welcome but it is only a start

DECEMBER 2015:  Cars under floodwater in Kirkstall. PIC: Tony Johnson
DECEMBER 2015: Cars under floodwater in Kirkstall. PIC: Tony Johnson
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A HUNDRED days after the Boxing Day floods brought misery to thousands of homes and businesses, there is at last some good news for hard-pressed householders in the form of a new insurance scheme to help those at risk to get more affordable cover.

This is not, however, part of the Government’s response to the devastation caused three months ago. On the contrary, the Flood Re scheme is the result of several years of tortuous negotiation in response to the sky-high premiums being levied by insurance companies following a succession of major floods over the past two decades.

As such, it is hardly a panacea for the problems faced by those living in flood-prone areas such as Leeds, hit by devastating levels of flood water on Boxing Day. But it is nonetheless welcome.

However, because the scheme is riddled with loopholes, many vulnerable homes will still be left struggling to find insurance cover while many businesses will still be forced to close or relocate.

While homes in the highest council-tax band will be protected, for example, many other, more modest properties, such as leasehold flats and buy-to-let properties, will be excluded, as will any property built since 2009.

In short, then, Flood Re is good as far as it goes, but it can only be a start.