Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on OPW and Flood Relief Eugene Murphy TD has called for legislative protection for homeowners to be extended following devastating flooding in Donegal.

Fianna Fáil previously published the Flood Insurance Bill 2016 which extends insurance cover to homes and businesses in areas where flood defences have been built by the Office of Public Works.

Deputy Murphy has called for the Bill to be accelerated through the Dáil and passed in the coming weeks to help provide certainty for homeowners and businesses.
“Minister Moran has been calling on insurance companies not to blacklist areas at risk of flooding. However homeowners and businesses need much more than just empty words from Minister Moran. It makes more sense to take legislative action to deal with this issue,” said Deputy Murphy.

“Fianna Fáil has already published an extensive Bill to help ensure homeowners and businesses are fully protected. The Flood Insurance Bill introduces a new provision which prevents insurance companies from discriminating against home and business owners in areas with the standard 1 in 100 year flood risk, as certified by the OPW.

“This provision will ensure that insurance is available to property owners in areas where the OPW has invested in EU standard flood defences. The Bill also puts in place an appeals mechanism through the Financial Ombudsman and empowers the Central Bank to enforce the policy.

“The State is in the process of spending some €760m on flood defence measures. Given this investment and improvements in planning and building management, it is inexcusable for insurance companies to abandon areas where flood defences have been put in place. The Bill we have put forward will ensure the insurance industry plays its role in providing a safety net to homeowners.

“The Government opposed the Bill back in November but now has a chance to help ensure it moves swiftly through all stages in the Oireachtas. Homeowners cleaning up from the devastation this week deserve more than just empty words from the Government. It’s time for action,” concluded Deputy Murphy.