The Environment Secretary has expressed the “disappointment” that he feels at the failure to come together.
Owen Paterson, Environment Secretary in the U.K. has revealed that he is feeling “disappointment” as a result of the failure of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British government to reach a deal for a flood insurance program that would protect homes and businesses in high risk areas.
The two organizations have been in talks over a new coverage strategy for many weeks as the deadline looms.
The discussions have been with regards to a fund that would be raised through flood insurance premiums and which would help to pay for the claims in the event that an area should experience a serious level of flooding. According to Paterson, when speaking to the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee, “We really are working on this in a very intense manner, but there is no point coming up with an agreement just for the sake of it. We’ve got to get it right.”
The current flood insurance deal is set to expire in June and could receive a temporary extension.
Paterson went on to explain that he feels that “they are as disappointed as we are disappointed – as are the many property holders – that we have not yet come to a final agreement”. However, he did point out that this is a very complex issue and it will necessitate great care to find this difficult answer.
According to Paterson, the current deal could be extended “as a temporary measure” as long as the talks continue. He explained to the MPs that they are seeking a new form of arrangement that will allow for the delivery of flood insurance to properties at a higher risk, but which is also as comprehensive and affordable as possible, but without generating a tremendous taxpayer burden.
He explained that he’d ideally prefer to be able to say that everything has already been arranged, but at least there are still upcoming meetings and he is feeling optimistic. He also went on to praise actions beyond flood insurance, such as the Coalition’s flooding defenses efforts through considerable investments.