Monday, 8 December 2014

FLOOD INSURANCE ‘It works in Europe why not in Ireland’?


CFRAMS has identified 300 communities (AFAs) threatened by flooding. CFRAMS
  is crucial to the medium and longterm reduction/management of flood risk in
  Ireland .

. OPW has spent €325m since 1995 to date on flood relief and €225m will be spent
  over the next 5 years.

. The OPW has mapped 7000km of river courses in Ireland.

. This mapping has a suite of 13 overlay maps for each community  at risk which
  outline how many homes/businesses could be at risk ,what depth and the extent
  flooding can occur over a range of varied flood events.

. The mapping also includes areas that have been effected by coastal flooding.

. The reason for this mapping is three fold
   1.To comply with EU directives.
   2.To help plan for and alleviate flooding in communities.
   3.To highlight areas which should not be built on or developed.



BECAUSE INSURANCE COMPANIES HAVE ACCESS TO THESE MAPS THE FORUM IS VERY CONCERNED THAT THEY WILL ATTEMPT TO LOAD INSURANCE POLICIES OR WORSE REFUSE INSURANCE TO COMMUNITIES WHO FIND THEMSELVES IN THESE AREAS.

On the 16/10/’14 a meeting was held in Dublin Castle where the OPW outlined their work to date.The forum has outlined its long standing belief that the government must intervene and stop insurance companies ‘cherry picking’ when it comes to insurance cover.The forum wishes to put the following argument to government.

. Adverse selection (cherry picking) is illegal in many countries in Europe.

. All households/businesses in France and many other countries in Europe must
  legally hold insurance and flood cover is automatically included.This has led to a
  very broad insurance base where ALL communities have flood cover.

. The crude methodology used by insurance companies has led to many businesses
  and householders losing their insurance and therefore becoming worthless .What
  will the future hold for these communities?These property owners are still paying
  full rates and property tax which is a wholly inequitable situation and unsustainable
  going forward.

. Without flood insurance these communities will not be able to invest in their
  properties or attract inward investment to these areas .Without insurance these
  communities will become the slums of tomorrow.

. What will become of elderly people who have spent a life time paying off their
  mortgages ?Will they become more dependant on the state?Will they become the
  new poor?With their single biggest asset becoming worthless because they can’t
  get flood cover and therefore banks will not grant mortgages to perspective new
  buyers.

. What will become of the SME’s and their employees in the cities ,towns and
  villages who can’t get flood cover? Loss of jobs and no inward  investment ,
  even closure and loss of rates.

. The OPW has made communities like Fermoy,Clonmel etc. much safer and has
   invested millions of tax payer monies in building magnificent engineering solutions
   to prevent flooding in these areas ,yet insurance companies are still refusing flood
   cover.This is a wreck-less and anti community stance by insurance companies.

. The Minister for Finance has the power to refuse these insurance companies
  a licence to trade in this country and we would ask that he uses his powers to put
  an end to this intolerable situation where insurance companies won’t comply.

. There are many other clever solutions that have been introduced in areas where
  people haven’t been able to get reasonable insurance e.g. Health Insurance for the
  elderly through community rating and the national insurance scheme should
  someone be hit by an uninsured driver.

Muintir na Tire  Supports the Call by The Irish National Flood Relief Forum for Government action on this issue.

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