Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow Pat Casey says new legislation put forward by his party will help ensure that homes and businesses affected by flooding in Wicklow get access to adequate insurance cover.

The Flood Insurance Bill 2016 aims to alleviate the financial pressure on homes and businesses which are unable to get reasonable insurance cover due to flooding concerns. This problem is particularly prevalent in Arklow and Bray which has suffered numerous flooding incidents in recent years, including last January.

“Right across the country thousands of homeowners and businesses are denied access to insurance because of where they live. Even in areas that have undergone significant flood defence improvements, those seeking insurance are still often denied,” said Deputy Casey.

“Fianna Fáil has brought forward new legislation to make the insurance application and approval process more transparent. Our legislation will ensure that insurance providers will not be allowed to discriminate against home and business owners in areas with the standard 1 in 100 year flood risk or better.

“These flood rating risks 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. However in some cases insurance companies continue to refuse to provide insurance cover to people who live in areas where new flood relief and defence works have been put in place. Our legislation will put an end to this.

“Flooding has been a particularly prevalent problem in Arklow and flood defence works are currently underway. However we can’t have a situation where homes and businesses in Arklow still cannot get insurance even once these flood defence works have been completed. The works have been completed in Bray but there are still people who cannot get the insurance cover they need.

“The state is investing significant money in flood defence works, insurance providers need to follow suit and provide adequate insurance cover once these works are complete.

“We need to protect people living in areas of low flood risk or where significant levels of investment by the State have mitigated the flooding risk. Our legislation will achieve this,” said Deputy Casey.