FF legislation is next step in flood insurance plan for Mayo homes and businesses

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says new legislation put forward by her party will help ensure that homes and businesses affected by flooding 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 Westport, Ballinrobe and Foxford which have suffered numerous flooding incidents in recent years, including last January”, explained Deputy Chambers.

“Right across the country thousands of homeowners and businesses are denied access to insurance because of where they live. This Bill will 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.

“This Bill is the latest measure brought forward by Fianna Fáil to protect flood victims. The legislation will ensure that home and business owners are not discriminated against by insurance companies, however flood defence works will have to be carried out in these areas to protect them against further flooding events.

“The OPW has completed 37 major flood defence schemes, however none of them are in Mayo. The Government must ensure that funding from the €480m allocated to flood defence projects between now and 2021 is spent on schemes in this county”, concluded Deputy Chambers.