The protection would come through improvements to the Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS) which would:

  • Require sewerage companies to pay a minimum of £150 for every internal sewer flooding incident
  • Include external flooding incidents, for which payment would be 50% of a customer’s annual sewerage charge per incident

    Philip Fletcher, director general of water services, said that the GSS payments were not meant to take the place of insurance but were designed to be a recognition of service failure.

“GSS payments can never fully compensate customers for the problems they experience when their homes are flooded with sewage,” he said. “Our research has shown compensation is not always the main priority for customers affected by sewer flooding. They also value a quick response from their sewerage company and assistance with cleaning up. The proposed guidelines would enable sewerage companies to act as a good neighbour and offer customers help and support when sewer flooding does occur. The GSS scheme is there to help customers when things go wrong.”

The consultation plans come just two weeks after the ABI said it would continue to provide insurance cover for existing homes in flood-prone areas, provided that adequate flood-protection schemes were in place or planned.

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