Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
143. Deputy Frank Fahey asked the Minister for Finance if he has received the report from the Irish Insurance Federation regarding the results of the working group established to examine the flooding issue in November 2009; the details of this report; the extent of the withdrawal of cover from households which were the victims of flooding; the other relevant details from the report; and in the event of the report not being available if he will indicate when he hopes to receive the report from the Irish Insurance Federation. [29493/10]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): The background to the Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) working group was a request from my Department for detailed information in relation to the November 2009 flooding. The type of information being sought included amongst other things a list of the locations where insurance companies were having difficulty providing cover as well as an indication of the number of policies they expected not to renew as a result of the flooding. The reply my Department received provided a breakdown of claims on a county basis. It did not identify the specific problem locations. The IIF did indicate however that approximately 98% of those with household insurance currently have flood cover and that its withdrawal at renewal only happens in exceptional cases where there has been repeated flooding.
In order to develop a better understanding of the situation, more detailed information is required. My Department has therefore requested the IIF to provide information on where people are having difficulties in getting flood cover in particular the specific areas/localities. The OPW has also been asked to outline the extent and location of the flooding problems and what is being done to address them. It is hoped that both sets of information will be provided shortly. The purpose of seeking information from both sources is to align them and determine the extent of the current problem, particularly from a flood cover perspective. Such information is necessary as in many cases remedial work may address flooding problems in the short term or over the next number of years thus making flood cover easier to obtain. This research will provide essential information and context to any future policy decisions in relation to the provision of flood cover. Finally, it should be noted that my Department is also examining how other countries deal with the provision of flood cover in such circumstances.
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