MP Calls Again For Flood Re To Be Extended To Small Businesses

Dumfries and Galloway MP Richard Arkless in continuing to pursue the important issue of flood insurance for businesses at Westminster.


Speaking during an adjournment debate last week on flooding in the Ribble Valley in Wales, Mr Arkless said:


“Many small businesses across the UK that operate in flood risk areas are facing enormous flood insurance excesses.  Will the Ministers please commit to persuading the Treasury to extend the Flood Re scheme for affordable insurance to small businesses?


Flood Re is a ‘reinsurance scheme’ that was set up by the Government and the insurance industry last April.   It offers insurers a way to protect themselves against big losses with other insurers, so that they can give affordable cover to homeowners whose properties are at risk of flooding.


It was launched with the aim of ensuring that insurance remains affordable for people who have previously experienced flooding or for those who live in a high flood risk area however it has not been expanded to cover small businesses who are often faced with huge excess following a flooding event.


Nigel Evans MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales responded positively to Mr Arkless’s question saying that he had already requested an extension to the Flood Re scheme adding;


“If we think it is a good idea to spread the risk for domestic premises, as we have done through the Flood Re scheme, I cannot see any good reason not to extend that to businesses as well.”


Mr Arkless also took the issue of Flood Re directly to Therese Coffey MP who is the Minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs during a DEFRA debate last week.  She referred him to a new insurance scheme from the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) which has launched an innovative product for businesses that will provide cover for businesses at risk of flooding. The new scheme uses very specific data to ensure that each individual business receives cover based on its own specific risk.  The scheme also offered customers the option to ‘buy-back’ any flood excess that is applied meaning customers can chose the amount of risk they want to bear themselves.


Commenting, Mr Arkless said:


“There has been gaping hole in affordable flood insurance provision for small businesses so I welcome BIBA’s new product but it does not go far enough.  I want to see the Flood Re scheme extended to small and medium sized businesses and will continue to petition the government to make this happen.”


: Photo shows Richard Arkless MP speaking during the DEFRA debate.

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