Homes could be uninsurable against floods council leaders warn
Any cuts to flood prevention work could leave millions of householders unable to insure their homes against flooding, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.
An agreement between the Government and the insurance industry currently allows homes and businesses in flood risk areas to purchase cover so long as the Government is doing its part to mitigate the risks.
This deal runs out in 2013 and council leaders fear the insurance industry may refuse to offer affordable cover if it does not have confidence that sufficient resources are being invested in flood defences.
Householders, businesses and local and central government would be left to pick up the bill for repairing the damage caused by any future floods.
Chairman of the Local Government Authority environment board, Gary Porter, said: "There is a real danger if sufficient resources are not put into managing the risk of flooding millions of households could find themselves in the awful position of being unable to insure their property against the risk of floods.
"There are huge opportunities to save money by giving power to the people who know their areas best and who can direct funding where it is needed most.
"By simply reducing spending we will do nothing to cut waste and instead hurt the frontline more than we need to.
"We all remember the destruction that the 2007 floods caused. It is absolutely imperative that the Government does all it can to reduce the risk of it happening again and that if it does, ordinary people are not left to fend for themselves."
According to the LGA one in six properties in England and Wales is currently at risk of flooding.