Cork South-West general election candidate Margaret Murphy O’Mahony is urging the Government to establish new protocols with the insurance industry and introduce legislation to provide flood cover for homes and businesses in west Cork that have been devastated yet again by this week’s flooding.

Councillor Murphy O’Mahony has said the new UK flood insurance system that has just come into effect provides a model to be used here. It allows owners in flood risk areas to still insure their property and their possessions.

The Bandon-based Councillor said: “In the UK legislation was put in place by the Government in agreement with Insurers to develop a not-for-profit company to allow insurers to pass the flood risk element of an insurance policy into a fund that would then pay out any claim into the future. The way the scheme is designed it enables high flood risk households to access affordably priced flood insurance.  This is badly needed here now.

“The emergency funding being put in place by the Government will help but we need comprehensive, long-term solutions for homes and businesses in towns like Bandon and Skibbereen.  It’s simply not acceptable to leave them at the mercy of the weather.

“There is an immediate need among these communities that must be addressed and I want to praise the ongoing work of the civil defence, volunteers and members of the Defence Forces who are working tireless to help people salvage what they can from their homes.

“The Government needs to make establishing new protocols with the insurance industry here a top priority in the new year and draw up new legislation.  I am pressing the case with my colleagues in Fianna Fáil to adopt this type of insurance model in Ireland.

“The more medium term plans must include building the flood defence infrastructure but also putting in place the proper safety nets by way of insurance cover.  The insurance industry needs to step up in this process.  I think new protocols and legislation can be agreed if the Government shows the necessary leadership to bring this about.  Insurance companies already make large profits so a new flood insurance scheme to support those at risk of flooding should be borne by the companies themselves not simply passed on,” concluded Councillor Murphy O’Mahony.