Insurance firm bid to cut costs

A LEADING insurance company has offered to help ministers cut the risk of flooding in a move that could help lower the cost of cover for flood-hit families.

Tuesday, 25th September 2007, 12:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th September 2007, 11:16 am

Norwich Union told a meeting at the Labour Party conference in Bourne-mouth that the company had the expert knowledge to advise on flood risks.

It has offered to share its knowledge with the Government as it continues to deal with the aftermath .

John Seaton, Norwich Union underwriting director, said research had been carried out to find out how measures to make new homes less prone to flooding could be applied to existing housing.

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This could be used to help reduce the risk of flooding which could result in lower insurance premiums for families, he added.

He said companies would be able to provide flood cover to more people "and make it as attractive as possible."

Mr Seaton said ideas were needed to help reduce the risk, which is expected to increase with climate change.

Environment minister Phil Woolas, who has responsibility for climate change, said: "Norwich Union believes it has a vast amount of information, knowledge and data on what can be done to better protect property and to ensure that if homes are flooded the damage is not permanent.

"I think Norwich Union should be commended for its approach and for attending conference. We are determined, as a government, that people should be able to get insurance against flooding.

"That means the insurance industry has to be satisfied the Government is doing enough to help and we have to be satisfied they are doing enough to provide insurance to people to protect their homes."

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