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Pitt report on the 2007 summer floods must be acted on says the ABI

The ABI today called on the Government to act on the recommendations of Sir Michael Pitt's report into the 2007 summer floods.

Nick Starling, the ABI's Director of General Insurance and Health, said:

"This report must not sit on the shelf. By highlighting how under- prepared we are for a major flood, it must be a catalyst for an overhaul in managing and adapting to the increasing flood threat.

"The Government must act now to develop a long-term flood strategy. This must focus on better co-ordination, a thorough reassement of the flood risk from rivers, drainage and the sea, adequate investment and better public information on flooding. All this is crucial to ensure that flood insurance remains widely available and competitively-priced.

"The report recognises the major role played by the insurance industry, and the value of insurance. Last summer, insurers handled 180,000 claims and paid out over £3 billion. The vast majority of the 17,000 people for whom insurers arranged temporary accommodation are now back in their homes."

Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:

Jonathan French 020 7216 7392 (Mobile: 07958 330 480)

Malcolm Tarling 020 7216 7410 (Mobile: 07776 147 667)

Erfan Hussain 020 7216 7411 (Mobile: 07712 841 184)

Kelly Ostler-Coyle 020 7216 7415 (Mobile: 07968 364 302)

2. The insurance industry is responding to the insurance-related recommendations in the Pitt Report:

· We have produced public guidance on the importance of home insurance, and what policies cover. We have also produced information for homeowners on how they can expect a flood claim to be handled. This will be extensively distributed when a severe flood occurs (Recommendation 29).

· We are working with the Government and local authorities to promote wider take up of insured with rent schemes for those in rented accommodation and among housing associations (Recommendation 30).

· Many insurers provide their policyholders with information on flood risk. The ABI will work with our members to see how the most accurate flood risk information can be made widely accessible. (Recommendation 31).

3. Recent independent research commissioned by the ABI highlighted public concern on flooding. Of 1,000 adults in areas badly affected by last summer's floods surveyed:

· Eight out of ten people badly affected by the 2007 summer floods think the flood risk is increasing.

· Three-quarters think not enough is being done to tackle the problem.

· Improving drainage is seen as the number one priority - 98% agree. Next came tougher planning controls for new homes, then greater investment in flood defences.

· Insurers were seen as having responded more positively to flood victims than the Environment Agency, local authorities, and the Government.

4. The ABI is the trade association for Britain's insurance industry. Its nearly 400 member companies provide over 94% of the insurance business in the UK. It represents insurance companies to the Government, and to the regulatory and other agencies, and is an influential voice on public policy and financial services issues. ABI member companies hold up to a sixth of all investments traded on the London Stock Exchange, on behalf of millions of pensioners and savers.

5. An ISDN line is available for broadcasts.

Copies of all ABI news releases, together with other information from the Association, can be seen on our website http://www.abi.org.uk

Last updated 01/07/2016