Fight goes on for flood insurance solution

COMMUNITY leaders in Morpeth are continuing to push for a national solution for flood insurance problems.

The Morpeth Flood Insurance Working Group put forward a model last year whereby the cost of flooding would be met by a community levy on all householders nationwide, rather than being attached to individual policies.

The idea was supported by the National Flood Forum and was presented to the Government after Morpeth representatives were invited to take part in a national working party.

Now the Government has said an announcement should be made in March or April about measures to address soaring premiums and excesses in flood-risk communities.

And members of the Morpeth group – Morpeth Town Council, the Morpeth Flood Action Group and the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade – are pressing the case for their model to be adopted.

Group Chairman and town councillor David Parker said: “The Government has a lot of information from various sources, including the organisations that are represented on the Government’s working group.

“The proposal which this council supported, and which has been recognised by the Association of British Insurers as having some merit, has been recognised as a possibility, or part of an answer, but not necessarily the answer.

“The Morpeth group is doing some lobbying and the Morpeth Flood Action Group and Chamber of Trade are doing some in collaboration. We as a working group have been in touch with both local MPs and also some local MEPs.

“We are doing all we can to get the Government to address this issue.

“We feel this model will not just meet the needs of Morpeth, but also the needs of lots of other communities like our town that could be significantly affected by floods, or which have had floods in the last five to 10 years.”

The group says action is needed as residents in flood-affected communities are struggling to find affordable insurance cover, and the Statement of Principles that was agreed with insurance companies to ensure cover is provided will end in 2013.