HC Deb 30 November 2000 vol 357 c874W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to discuss with the Association of British Insurers problems relating to the insurability of homes and businesses at risk of flooding. [139462]

Miss Melanie Johnson

I have been asked to reply.

Both I and the Minister responsible for flood and coastal defence have recently held meetings with representatives of the insurance industry to discuss how the industry is responding to the floods and also to discuss issues of insurability for homes and businesses at risk of flooding.

We urged the insurance industry to continue to give maximum priority to dealing with flood and other severe weather-related claims. We were assured that claims are being—and would continue to be—dealt with as speedily and effectively as possible. The Government will be looking to the whole industry to deliver on this commitment, and encourage all insurers to aim to meet the highest possible standards.

Looking to the future, industry representatives made it clear that the industry is keen to provide continued insurance cover for homes and businesses around the country, and would be encouraging individual companies not to make hasty judgments on large premium increases or future insurability. Government and industry will need to work closely in partnership to deliver continuing protection for homeowners and businesses at risk of flood damage, to ensure that issues of vital importance are taken forward effectively and speedily (including the appropriate development of planning policies, building regulations, sustainable construction practice and design, farming practice and flood defence policy).