Amendments to the Flood Re Scheme

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Closes 26 Apr 2021

Ministerial Foreword

The recent impacts of Storm Christoph have brought a stark reminder of the challenges we face from flooding. Last winter was the fifth wettest winter on record since 1862 and was one which saw widespread damage caused across the UK. I visited some of those affected and saw first-hand the devastating impact that the floods had on residents and businesses.

We know that the risk and impact of flooding are expected to increase over the coming decades as a result of population growth and climate change. As we set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, the government’s priority is to “reduce the risk of harm to people, the environment and the economy, from flooding and coastal erosion”. We launched our Policy Statement last summer. It outlines five ambitious policies and over 40 supporting actions which will accelerate progress to better protect and prepare the country against flooding and coastal erosion in the face of more frequent extreme weather as a result of climate change.

In line with our commitments to better prepare communities for flooding, we also announced that we would consult on specific changes to the Flood Re Scheme which would require legislative change. In 2016 we launched the joint government and insurance industry initiative, Flood Re, as the government recognised there was a lack of available and affordable flood insurance for those living in high flood risk area. Since its launch, more than 300,000 properties have benefitted from the Scheme. Research commissioned by Flood Re has found that, before its introduction only 9% of householders who had made prior flood claims could get quotes from two or more insurers; now, 96% can receive quotes from five or more insurers. Furthermore, four out of five householders with a prior flood claim saw price reductions of over 50%.

Appropriate insurance is an important tool in supporting recovery from flooding and helping people to get back to normal more quickly. We want to ensure that flood insurance is both accessible and affordable for people in flood risk areas. The changes set out in this consultation aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Flood Re Scheme, and also to support Flood Re’s purpose to manage transition to a risk reflective flood insurance market by the time they leave the market in 2039. These proposals seek to encourage greater uptake of Property Flood Resilience (PFR) among households at high risk of flooding across the UK and better support customers and insurers to recognise its benefits.

 

Rebecca Pow MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Domestic Environment)

Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs