ABI co-operates with Welsh Assembly on flood risk
by David Masters
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is working with the Welsh Assembly Government to help manage flood risks in Wales.
Government ministers will work with ABI representatives to improve flood risk management in the country and to help people recover more quickly after flooding.
Together, they will revamp the planning system to prevent new developments in flood risk areas, and raise awareness of flood risk in the communities most prone to flooding.
The agreement follows the release of new Environment Agency figures showing that one in six properties in Wales is at risk of flooding, with 600,000 people living or working in flood risk areas.
Environment minister Jane Davidson said the agreement with the ABI provides a “long term solution” to ensure flood insurance remains “as affordable and widely available as possible.”
The agreement will sit alongside “hard” flood defence measures such as flood barriers and drainage schemes, Davidson said.
“Insurance companies will continue to provide effective and efficient claims services following flooding whilst the Welsh Assembly Government will put in place various measures to mitigate against flood risk,” Davidson explained.
“With forecasts showing the increased rainfall due to climate change the risk of flooding is set to increase,
“Irrespective of the height of our defences or the capacity of our drainage systems, we will have to adapt to more extreme weather.”
Justin Jacobs, ABI assistant director of property insurance, added: “The Welsh Assembly Government rightly recognises that a long-term flood strategy, backed by adequate resources and funding, is the best way to manage the growing flood threat.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure that these measures are implemented so that flood protection relied upon by homeowners and businesses remains widely available.”
The agreement will be reviewed on a yearly basis.