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Predicted floods to hit premiums

Thursday, January 02 11:00:43

Flooding is predicted in large areas of the country in the coming days and this will have a knock-on effect on insurance premiums nationally though insurers are pursuing a zer0-tollerance approach to geo-coded flood zones.

That's according to the Irish Brokers Association, who said that a rough estimate of the number of buildings where flood cover is excluded is about 40,000-50000.

There are key areas of exclusion that include areas in Cork City, Dublin Basin, Clonakilty, Bandon, Fermoy, Clonmel, Waterford, Carlow and the Shannon River area.

Geo-coding by insurers has created many problems for policy holders, particularly when their property is in a location within the geo-coded land where the chances of flooding are extremely remote.

Brokers have been successful in procuring cover for members through expert advice and surveys in these areas, but significant challenges remain, the Association said.

However the representative body have warned that claims could rise as a result of this week's forecasted flooding in some parts of the country, and this could have a knock on effect on premiums in the medium term though that will dependent on whether Ireland is hit with further weather related catastrophes during the winter.

According to Brian McNelis, Director of General Services at the Irish Brokers Association, " The weather warnings for this week will hopefully not be as bad as the flooding experienced in previous years around the country however we still feel it important to first address what steps those affected need to take to ensure they deal with the clean-up and imminent claim correctly".

"Usually, such a large and unprecedented claims event would impact negatively on consumer insurance premiums, but any increase in rates will really depend on the level of weather related claims over the winter. Events occurred in the winter of last year however which spiked renewal premiums. This led to more and more people who had not made a claim but who traditionally would have remained with their existing provider, deciding to shop around which invariably lead to cost savings for consumers."

"However, on the downside some people are left in the very precarious position of not being able to secure home insurance and whilst we accept we cannot entirely eliminate the risk of flooding, greater efforts must be made to ensure that the public and their property is protected, and that insurance cover to some degree can be made available to all".