Insurers call for improved flood defence

THE insurance industry has called on the Government to bring forward planned increases in flood defence spending to reduce the risk of a repeat of this summer's flooding which hit South Yorkshire.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2007, 7:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2007, 3:25 pm

The Association of British Insurers said it pressed ministers at a meeting to act quickly to reduce the level of flood risk associated with river, coastal and surface flooding.

The trade body said it urged the government to bring forward its promised increase in spending on flood defences as more money is needed now.

The government spends 570 million a year improving and building new flood defences, but has pledged to increase this to 800 million annually by 2020/11.

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The ABI was attending a meeting with a number of ministers, including Flood Recovery Minister and Rotherham MP John Healey and Economic Secretary to the Treasury Kitty Ussher, to discuss the aftermath of this summer's floods.

The group said since the flooding in Sheffield, Roth-erham, Doncaster and other areas around 100 days ago, insurers have dealt with more than 130,000 claims for damage to homes, businesses and motor vehicles.

ABI director general Stephen Haddrill said: "The insurance industry is doing everything possible to help. But we warned ministers that, in many cases, the process of recovery will be a long haul lasting well into 2008."

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