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Insurers get cold feet over houses on floodplains

Tougher planning controls are needed if flood insurance is to remain widely available for new homes, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has warned.

Speaking at the Architects' Journal's flooding conference yesterday, the ABI's assistant director of property, Justin Jacobs, said a third of the three million new homes the government planned to build by 2020 would be on a floodplain, and warned that insurers could not continue to provide flood cover for this number of buildings.

Jacobs said: ‘The government's ambitious housing plans are in jeopardy unless we reduce the flood risk.

‘Insurers want to continue to provide flood cover, but poor planning decisions will lead to more homes becoming unsaleable, uninsurable and uninhabitable.’

Jacobs told delegates that 'the average household insurance is £300, and the average flood claim is £30,000', and said this was a cost insurers could not continue to bear.

The ABI added that despite it now being a statutory requirement that the Environment Agency be consulted on new developments, planning permission was still being given despite the agency highlighting flood risks.

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