Flood defence information to widen insurance availability

OPW announces memorandum of understanding with industry

A woman walks through flood water in Cork city last month. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A woman walks through flood water in Cork city last month. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mon, Mar 24, 2014, 17:57

An information-sharing agreement between the State and insurers will make flood insurance more widely available to those who currently find it difficult to get , Minister of State for the OPW Brian Hayes said today.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) announced a memorandum of understanding with insurance representative body Insurance Ireland to exchange information on completed flood defence works.

The agreement means that from June 1st the OPW will provide information on design, extent and nature of protection offered by 12 completed flood defence schemes. This information will then be taken into account by insurers when assessing flood risk.

The agreement “does not guarantee flood cover” but “will I believe help underwriters and especially the industry to re-enter the market again where they see the State producing an engineering solution which resolves a problem,” Mr Hayes said.

Kevin Thompson, chief executive of Insurance Ireland said it was the “start of a process” to help its members “make flood insurance more widely available in areas benefiting from flood defences” It noted there were nine major floods since 2000 costing some €750m in claims.

“The increased frequency of flooding in recent years highlights the need for action to be taken now in the affected areas so that flood defences are constructed as quickly as possible.”

Mr Hayes hoped it would give “some protection” and “comfort” to those who have gone through flooding “which is unfortunately all too common” .

The OPW will continue to provide information with schemes as they are completed, Mr Hayes said. The State has spent some €370m on flood relief works since 1995 with over 10,500 properties protected.

The 12 schemes currently incldued are:

Clonmel (River Suir)

Dublin (River Dodder Tidal)

Dublin (River Tolka)

Dublin Fingal (River Tolka)

Duleek (River Nanny)

Dunmanway ( River Bandon)

Ennis (River Fergus Upper)

Fermoy (River Blackwater)

Kilkenny City (River Nore)

Meath (River Tolka)

Mornington (River Mornington)

Tullamore (River Tullamore)