The Government must step up its efforts to seal a deal with property insurers over flooding before a June deadline to stop home-owners being left with uninsurable, unsellable homes, the original Express & Star March 26, 2013 5:10 pm article can be seen here The statement of principles under which flood-threatened properties can be insured expires in the summer and talks between ministers and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are reported to be deadlocked.
MPs from across the political divide united in calls for action to break the logjam and end uncertainty for their constituents in a backbench Commons debate.
Tory Nicola Blackwood, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said: “We have got to focus on the June 30 deadline. It is a date that dominates the lives of far too many of my constituents. They fear they are suddenly going to become uninsurable, breach their mortgage conditions and have unsellable properties.
“While I appreciate negotiations with the ABI have been complex and there is no easy solution here, especially in the current fiscal situation, it is not as if we didn’t see this coming – it’s been coming since the statement of principles was agreed in 2002.
“If we are not going to hit the deadline, then we need to be clear and transparent with constituents about what will happen between then and any future deal.
“I accept it takes two to tango and I met with the ABI yesterday… but today it is the minister’s turn. My constituents deserve to know if their homes are going to be insured in July this year and they deserve to know on what terms.”
Labour MP Diana Johnson said many people in her Kingston upon Hull North constituency live below sea level. She said: “I think it completely unacceptable the Government have dragged their feet on this issue, which is of such importance to so many householders up and down this country.”
Conservative MP Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, moved the bipartisan motion in the Commons.
He said: “Negotiations on flood insurance shed a broader light on the UK’s wider environmental policy. Strengthening flood defences should be a top priority – both in its own right, as a matter of sound policy, but also to help contain the rising insurance premiums.”