Cross-party forum backs cheaper insurance to help communities at risk of flooding

The Westminster Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF), Policy Connect’s high-level coalition of UK businesses, Parliamentarians, academics and other organisations, has responded to the Government’s consultation on their proposed amendments to the Flood Re scheme. The scheme was designed to help households at risk of flooding access affordable insurance.

  1. Proposal that Flood Re should offer discounted insurance premiums to homeowners who have installed property flood resilience measures. The WSBF strongly supports this proposal and considers that there is precedent for encouraging positive intervention in other areas of the insurance industry, for example where home insurance premiums are discounted following installation of security features.
  2. Proposal for Flood Re to offer funds for homeowners to Build Back Better after a flood by incorporating flood resilience measures, over and above ‘like for like’ replacement. The WSBF also supports this proposal, especially given that it has been demonstrated that installation of property flood resilience measures can significantly reduce both the cost associated with restoring a home and the amount of time that residents are displaced.
  3. Use of Flood Re’s funds. Given the relatively short amount of time available until the market will have to transition to risk reflective pricing, the WSBF considers that it will be necessary for Flood Re to utilise as wider range of activities as possible to increase the uptake of property flood resilience measures. Development of a flood performance certificate should form a key part of this strategy, as advocated for in the recent Bricks and Water inquiry.

The consultation response was based on the WSBF and Policy Connect’s recent work on water resources and flood management, including our reports Bricks and Water: A Plan of Action for Building Homes and Managing Water in England (2018) and Bricks and Water: Building Resilience for England’s Homes (2020).

The response was also informed by a roundtable held on 20th April, 2021, chaired by the shadow flooding minister Stephanie Peacock MP and including attendees from Flood Re, the insurance and water industries, academia and designers. Opening remarks were given by the Baroness McIntosh of Pickering; Andy Bord, CEO of Flood Re; and Ed Barsley, Director of The Environmental Design Studio.

A full report on the roundtable can be requested from Rob Allen on Robert.Allen [at] policyconnect.org.uk. Any media inquiries should be directed to our Press Officer, Bridget.Nea [at] policyconnect.org.uk.