Minister in talks with insurance firms over flood cover concerns

August 5th, 2016 10:04 AM

By Southern Star Team

The flooding in Bandon last year: many insurance firms are now refusing cover to locals. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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FLOOD relief measures in West Cork continue to be a top pirorty for many householders and businesses who suffered millions of euro of damage caused by last winter’s storms.

But the matter of adequate flood insurance, or the lack of it, is now a major concern, as another winter approaches. 

Insurance companies are now refusing to provide cover for flood damage when a customer needs to renew a policy, even if their premises or homes did not suffer flooding, but has been deemed to be located within a flood risk area.

Having held a meeting with the representative body of the insurance industry, Insurance Ireland, Minister Seán Canney, TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, has outlined significant developments in relation to flood risk management, including the Government’s decision to provide €430m for flood relief.

‘My Office has provided details on all completed schemes to date and I have requested Insurance Ireland to provide detailed information on numbers currently with flood insurance in these areas and the numbers re-insured after the completion of flood defence schemes. I also welcome the agreement at my request that quarterly meetings of the Working Group now be convened to assist in this regard,’ Minister Canney said.

While these talks are welcomed by those communities that are currently protected by flood defence schemes, a number of towns in West Cork, namely Bandon, are still without such defence. Work in Skibbereen is also beginning, but could take up to two years to complete.

Meanwhile, Insurance Ireland and the OPW will begin work on sharing information on the performance and deployment procedures of these flood defences that are already in place.

‘My office will liaise immediately with Insurance Ireland with the information required to inform their members on the successful deployment of these types of defences in schemes throughout the country,’ Minister Canney concluded. 

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