Save our gardens, save our houses: insurance prices to rise if flooding is not tackled

01 November 2007
Environmentalists are concerned that the risk of serious flooding is rising as more properties are being built without gardens, particularly in large cities.

Chair of conservation body Natural England, Sir Martin Doughty, said recently: “The gardens of England are under threat. In London, front gardens with an area 22 times the size of Hyde Park are now paved over and lost, reducing havens for wildlife, increasing the impact of flash flooding and contributing to climate change.”

The devastating flooding over the summer, which wreaked havoc across the UK, forced many people to evacuate their homes and caused billions of pounds worth of damage. And, although the UK is set to receive approximately £115 million from an EU flooding fund, people are still dealing with the aftermath of the disaster.

In order to combat this risk, as well as benefiting the environment, Natural England is campaigning for green infrastructure to be “at the heart of all new development.” Consultant at EMB consultancy Paul Moorshead says: “The main action people can take is to encourage more public spending on flood defences and more building of houses in areas that are not at risk of flooding.”

Mr Moorshead believes the Government needs to do more to prevent flooding if consumers are to be spared rising insurance costs. “In recent years, the insurance industry has clearly stated that more money needs to be spent on flood defences or the risk will rise – and naturally so will premiums,” he said.

UK home and car owners are advised to ensure they are covered in the event of further flooding, particularly with the winter season approaching.

“If a property is flooded, few insurers will offer cover going forward although the current insurer will always offer renewal terms under a voluntary code agreed by insurers. If the renewal offer is not taken up then the homeowner may find the property becomes uninsurable.” warns Mr Moorshead.

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