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Flood Re: Consultation

Volume 690: debated on Thursday 4 March 2021

We published a consultation on amendments to the Flood Re scheme on 1 February 2021 on DEFRA’s consultation hub. We drew public attention to this through a press notice to the media, which received positive coverage. In addition, the consultation has been communicated to a range of stakeholders, including members of the property flood resilience roundtable. The consultation will close on 26 April 2021, and I would encourage all interested parties to engage in it.

We have just passed the one-year anniversary of the devastating flooding that hit my community of Pontypridd in February 2020. Sadly, far too many people are still unable to get affordable home insurance, and it is clear that there are serious problems with the Flood Re scheme in its current form. Will the Minister, as part of this consultation, please agree to meet me and some of the residents affected in my community to hear at first hand about the problems with Flood Re?

I thank the hon. Lady for that, and of course, as ever, I have huge sympathy with anyone who has suffered flooding; it is not a nice experience. But Flood Re is doing everything it can to ensure that people can get flood insurance. It was introduced in 2016, and since then 96% of those with prior flood claims were able to get five or more insurance quotes. So this is really moving, but we are doing the consultation because if tweaks need to be made, we will make them. We very much look forward to hearing views. Do input to the consultation—

I am very happy to meet anybody who wants to make suggestions of how the whole system could work more effectively.

Too many people in flood risk areas cannot afford and do not have adequate insurance. Flood Re strongly supports flood cover being a standard part of household insurance, as recommended by the Blanc review. Can the Minister confirm what steps her Department is taking to ensure that this recommendation is implemented, and by when?

I thank the hon. Member for that. It is very important that those who might be susceptible to flooding can get hold of the right insurance. We are doing a great deal of work on this. She refers to the independent review of flood insurance. It was actually a special review taken around the Doncaster area to look at the lessons learned there. It has reported with its recommendations, and the Government are looking at that with a view to taking on board suggestions that may be helpful in this space.