Dublin Bay South TD, Jim O’Callaghan has welcomed the publication of the Flood Insurance Bill by the Fianna Fáil party which will help alleviate the severe stress that home and business owners who are unable to secure flood insurance face.

“Our bill addresses a major issue that affects homes and businesses along the Dodder river – the unwillingness of many insurance providers to offer insurance in areas where substantial flood defence works have already taken place by the OPW.

“In areas such as Ringsend, Sandymount, Merrion, Ballsbridge and Donnybrook homeowners and businesses are denied access to insurance even though remedial works have already been completed,” added O’Callaghan.

“If our bill is passed by the Oireachtas, insurance providers will not be allowed to deny insurance cover to homes and businesses in areas that have undergone flood defence works and that meet the standard 1 in 100 year flood risk rating.

“These flood risk ratings will be determined by the Office of Public Works. At present, all flood relief works carried out by the OPW are designed to provide for a 1 in 100 year flood risk rating.

“In addition, the Flood Insurance Bill provides a mechanism for home and business owners who feel they have been denied cover unreasonably to appeal to the Financial Services Ombudsman.

“Under the Fianna Fáil bill those that have been denied insurance or believe that the terms and conditions being applied on the policy are too excessive or unreasonable, there is a route to appeal.

“People living in areas with a low risk of flooding or where flood defence works have been carried out by the State should not have to worry about getting insurance.

“Over the past number of months, my party has put forward a number of measures designed to tackle the flooding issue in Ireland. We have proposed legislation to amend to regulate the flow of water in the Shannon system, proposed an increase in funding to the OPW and called for the establishment of a permanent Emergency Management Coordination Programme.

“I look forward to a constructive debate in Dáil Éireann on this piece of legislation, and working with colleagues across the political spectrum to pass this important bill that will help many home and business owners throughout Dublin Bay South,” concluded O’Callaghan.