Hiscox calls for urgent Government rethink of flagship flood insurance scheme

14th February 2014

London (14 January 2014) – Global specialist insurer Hiscox has called for the Government to address the loopholes in its flagship flood insurance scheme, known as Flood Re.

Flood Re actively excludes one in six households, including many properties currently underwater in Somerset and the Thames Valley, from flood protection. Customers would be left at the mercy of an unchecked open market, which would mean that flood insurance is highly unlikely to be affordable to many of those excluded.

Bronek Masojada, chief executive of global insurer Hiscox, said:

“This week’s events show that the Government’s proposed flood insurance scheme would leave many homeowners in a desperate situation.  As things stand one in six households, including many that are under water right now, would be excluded from access to Flood Re. That cannot be right.  What made sense in the heat of negotiation just won’t work in the real world.

“Flood Re is great for Britain in concept, but the Government’s proposals fall short in practice. An urgent rethink is needed.  It is unreasonable to exclude new homes, buy-to-let properties, and higher value properties from Flood Re protection.  We absolutely support a sustainable, mutualised solution to the problem of insurance, but the Government must listen to growing concern from insurers and the public.”

Hiscox is calling for an urgent meeting with Government ministers to identify a workable and comprehensive solution to this problem before the Water Bill concludes its passage through Parliament.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Hiscox Ltd

Kylie O’Connor 

+44 (0) 207 448 6656 [email protected]

 

Chloe Maloney

+44 (0) 207 448 6522 [email protected]

 

Brunswick Group

+44 (0)20 7404 5959 [email protected]

 

Notes to editors:

About Hiscox

Hiscox, headquartered in Bermuda, is an international specialist insurance group listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There are three main underwriting parts of the Group – Hiscox London Market, Hiscox UK and Europe and Hiscox International. Hiscox London Market underwrites mainly internationally traded business in the London Market – generally large or complex business which needs to be shared with other insurers or needs the international licences of Lloyd’s. Hiscox UK and Europe offers a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers, as well as high net worth individuals. Hiscox International includes operations in Bermuda, Guernsey and USA.

About Flood Re

Flood Re is intended to ensure that households in areas at risk of flooding would have access to affordable insurance. The Water Bill, currently at the Committee Stage in the House of Lords, will give the Government powers to implement these proposals.

Although Flood Re was designed to be a universal and sustainable solution, 1 in 6 domestic properties would be excluded from the scheme, including:

  • New homes (built after 2009)
  • Leaseholders
  • Buy-to-let properties
  • Properties in the ‘H’ and ‘I’ council tax bands.

 

The number of properties excluded from Flood Re would expand significantly should any council tax band revaluation take place in the future.

As an example, in Runnymede in the Thames Valley, there are over 1,000 Band H properties, many of which are currently underwater. In future they will be included in the calculation for the Flood Re levy, but will be excluded from access to Flood Re - even though their neighbours in other bands will be covered.

Excluded Band H and I properties in selected areas at risk of flooding:

 

Number of properties excluded from Flood Re

Constituency

Band H

Band I

Cardiff West

639

273

East Hampshire

607

0

Esher and Walton

2742

0

Gower

723

308

Maidenhead

688

0

Monmouth

1604

642

Richmond Park

3054

0

Runnymede and Weybridge

1813

0

Skipton and Ripon

314

0

Tonbridge and Malling

531

0

Twickenham

743

0

 

For further information, visit www.hiscoxgroup.com.


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