Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on the OPW and Flood Relief Eugene Murphy says the Flooding Bill being brought forward by his party will protect homes and businesses against discrimination by insurance companies. The Flood Insurance Bill 2016 requires the insurance industry not to discriminate against people who live in areas which the Office of Public Works flood hazard maps designate as having a 1 in 100 year risk or better.
“Home and business owners in the Midlands, West and South of the country have been penalised by insurance companies who have refused to insure homes and premises which have previously experienced flooding. The problem has continued to persist even when flood defences have been built. This is deeply unfair and a source of major anxiety for those affected.
“Our Bill will address this issue by ensuring that insurance companies can no longer discriminate against home and business owners that have the standard 1 in 100 year flood risk, as certified by the OPW. The OPW has already completed 37 major flood defence schemes, however some insurance customers, are still being refused cover. This situation is completely unacceptable.
“Under our legislation, a property owner would be entitled to complain to the Financial Services Ombudsman if they were unreasonably refused insurance or were offered an unreasonable premium. The Central Bank would also be given powers to direct an insurer to change its practices or take steps to ensure compliance.
“This Bill will protect home and business owners in areas of low risk or areas where the State has made a substantial investment in flood defences and ensure that they are covered by insurance companies. This is the latest step that my party is taking in the area of flood defences and protection, and we will be continuing to pursue measures to protect homes and businesses which are affected”.