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Give us a flood strategy now, urge insurers

Insurers yesterday renewed calls for a long-term flood management strategy.

They warned that 500,000 homes currently at significant risk of flooding could become uninsurable unless the government ensures that they are protected.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said improving surface water drainage must be a key priority.

"Insurers will have paid out £3bn following the floods last summer," said ABI director of general insurance and health Nick Starling, speaking at a conference in London last week.

"These findings reinforce our call for a long-term flood management strategy. In particular we must tackle the problem of surface water drainage."

"Planning for the future is essential if we are to minimise a repeat of last year’s terrible floods, and to ensure that flood insurance protection remains widely available.”

An ABI survey found that 98% of respondents thought drainage was the number one priority followed by tougher planning controls for new homes and greater investment in flood defences.

It also suggested there was support for a cut in the government target of building 3M homes by 2020 if construction was likely to take place on flood plains.

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