WATER is known as ‘the thief who takes everything’ and the typical insurance claim after a flood is around 30 times higher than one after a burglary.
So people who live in high risk flood areas are right to be deeply concerned about the possibility they may not be able to afford insurance in the future – if they can get any at all.
The Government and the insurance companies have had an agreement for the last 12 years that the companies will continue to insure people in flood areas so long as the Government carries on with flood prevention schemes.
But the industry says the Government is no longer living up to its promise under this so-called ‘safety net’ agreement which runs out next year.
If people cannot get insurance the value of their homes will be severely compromised and they will be living in constant fear of the next flood. They would then not be able to afford the repairs and replacement costs and their homes could become derelict and unsaleable.
It is a significant problem that affects up to 13,000 homes in Kirklees with around 1,000 at significant risk.
It’s a complex issue and many questions need asking and answering. One of those is why did councils allow these homes to be built in these areas in the first place?
Fast action by the Government is needed now but governments are not known for their sense of urgency.
Meanwhile, people may well be left to fend for themselves if disaster strikes.