Village flood victims add their voice to insurance calls

By Geoff Berkeley Wednesday 19 December 2012 Updated: 20/12 10:02

CAMPAIGNERS in Kempsey are urging people to sign a petition calling on the Government to ensure flood victims can obtain affordable home insurance next year.

About 200,000 people living in areas prone to flooding could be without cover from 2013 unless an agreement is reached between Westminster and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to replace the Statement of Principles, which expires in June.

Kempsey has been among the areas worst affected by floods including as recently as last month when one of the pumps on the village's new £1.7million flood defence system stopped working causing about 40 homes to be evacuated.

The Kempsey Flood Action Group (FLAG) have now joined an e-petition - launched by the National Flood Forum - urging the Government to take swift action to strike a deal.

Cathy Garner Oram, chair of FLAG, said: "The big issue for the future will be whether or not people will be able to get affordable insurance. If the Government can support insurance companies to be able to provide cover for homes at risk of flooding then that will be a benefit to thousands of people throughout the country and most of Worcester."

An independent report commissioned by the Environment Agency found that the sensors which control the pumps on Kempsey's flood defences became water-logged in last month's heavy rainfall, causing them to stop working properly.

Mrs Oram told the Standard the village was beginning to recover from the disastrous impact of the flooding but said much still depended on the response of each homeowner's insurance company.

"I am lucky as I have had a great response and so have a number of my neighbours which means stuff gets cleaned out as fast as possible and the damage is minimised," she added.

"However, there have been cases where insurance companies have dragged their feet."

"They have told them they must not move anything and the damage has got worse because of damp creeping into areas of the property which were never affected in the first place, which is shocking and entirely the fault of the insurance company."

To sign the e-petition log onto epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/42396

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