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Houses on floodplains ‘uninsurable’

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27/07/2007

Millions of UK homeowners whose houses are currently built on flood plains may not be able to insure their houses in the future, the Council of Estate Management (CEM) has warned.

Research states that due to climate change, natural occurrences such as flooding are becoming more predictable, and this could result in flooding becoming excluded from future insurance cover.
Ashley Dabson, head of research at the CEM, said: “There is a clear threat to the continuing availability of flood insurance in significant areas of the country.
“This means that, where flood risk is changing to an increasingly predictable event, property will, at best, be expensive to insure and at worst, uninsurable.”
The report has stated that 10% of the population of England and Wales are currently at risk of future flooding, representing a total of 4.5 million people in 1.8 million homes.
The South East of England has been identified by the CEM as one of the areas at particularly high risk, as has the Thames Gateway.
Limited availability of flood insurance in these areas may pose a threat to the governments’ recent Housing Green Paper and also its Sustainable Communities Plan, both of which propose to build large numbers of houses across the UK, including 128,500 homes on flood plains like the Thames Gateway.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has given clear indication that insurance cannot be guaranteed for such properties.
When the CEM asked property developers if they would invest in sites that were uninsurable for flood damage, most said that they would not.
Similarly, most mortgage lenders said that they would not be willing to lend money for properties that didn’t qualify for flood insurance.
 

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