Flood group seeks feedback on costs of home insurance

Flood-risk households in Morpeth are set to be surveyed on their insurance costs.

The Morpeth Flood Action Group (MFAG) will be distributing a questionnaire later this month to seek feedback on the costs of premiums and excesses.

It follows a similar study four years ago, which demonstrated the impact of the September 2008 flood when many residents reported higher bills. Another survey will be carried out next year when the town’s flood alleviation scheme is complete.

MFAG Chairman Alan Bell said: “We did a survey in 2010 and this one is aimed at finding out the average premiums and excesses compared with then and what the insurance companies are doing as the alleviation scheme is put in.

“Once that scheme is in, hopefully the insurance companies will take account of it and start to reduce the premiums in accordance with the properties being at less risk of flooding. We will be doing a survey in a year’s time to make sure that is happening.”

He added: “The information from the survey is also useful for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which is in discussions with the insurance industry to ensure it can provide affordable and available insurance to all properties.”

A flood levy scheme, based on a model proposed by Morpeth Town Council, MFAG and the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, to spread the costs of insurance across all policyholders is awaiting Royal Assent.

MFAG members will return to homes to collect completed surveys. The form can also be completed online at www.morpethfloodaction.org.uk/survey

All households that fill in and return the survey will be entered into a draw for the chance to win a £50 or £25 shopping voucher.