ABI Urges U.K. Voters to “Make Flood Management an Election Issue”

April 14, 2005

The Association of British Insurers has issued a call to the country’s voters to “make flood management an election issue,” as it publishes its “flood manifesto.”

The ABI is targeting 100 constituencies in a major initiative that it feels strongly should be a topic of discussion in the days leading up to U.K. Parliamentary elections scheduled for May 5.

The Association is “calling on Britain’s five million voters in flood vulnerable constituencies to put pressure on the major political parties to confirm their commitment to adequate investment in flood management.”

The call comes as the ABI publishes its flood manifesto “Safe as Houses?” which highlights the actions that are “needed to manage the increasing risk of flooding.” The ABI is sending the manifesto to all the main candidates in the 100 constituencies that have suffered flooding or that are vulnerable.

Under its manifesto, the ABI sets out an agenda for action over the next five years including:
– Sustained investment in flood defences.
– Stronger and more consistent planning guidance for floodplains to avoid inappropriate new developments.
– Availability of better risk information, including the condition of flood defences.
– In return, insurers will continue to provide competitively – priced flood insurance to as many property – owners as possible.

” Managing the flood risk should not become a political football, but must remain a political priority. Homeowners and businesses rightly expect nothing less”, stressed Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance.

“While real improvements in flood risk management have been made in the last five years, through greater investment and better planning, more needs to be done. New housing plans, and the likely impact of climate change, mean that flooding will continue to be a priority issue throughout the next Parliament. Keeping flood management high on the political agenda will ensure that insurance protection continues to be widely available to those who need it the most.”

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