Call to establish Irish version of UK’s Flood Re

Insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM is calling on the Irish Government to consider a review of the flood insurance market in the country to provide home owners the same level of protection offered in the UK.

Over 20 million households in the UK have buildings insurance that covers flood risk and the launch of the Flood Re in 2016 has seen four out of five households with a previous flood claim getting price reductions of more than 50% for their flood insurance.

A report from Gamma Location Intelligence found that almost 70,000 homes throughout Ireland are at risk of flooding with the value of damages estimated to €2bn. BLM property damage expert and partner Garrett Cormican, said: “The devastating effects of flooding are evident and with the predicted impact of climate change, it’s clear that flooding will eventually cause damage to our country’s infrastructure. It is questionable whether current levels of protection offered by existing flood defence structures are adequate.

“BLM assisted in establishing and developing Flood Re, which was seen as a ‘world first’ organisation for the insurance market. We can’t stop natural events from taking place but we are in a fortunate position to learn from the Flood Re initiative and implement a suitable alternative for Irish homeowners.”

The firm adds that businesses in Ireland – particularly those operating in the transport, built environment, agri-foods, and energy sectors – will also be significantly impacted by the consequences of flooding.

BLM launched a new Property Damage Task Force earlier this year, which brings together insurers, brokers, loss adjusters, legal specialists and corporates to identify emerging issues in the property claims sector and to help drive change. The Task Force has been set up in response to an increase in both the volume and value of property related insurance claims across the UK and Ireland. The Task Force will consider lobbying for change in the property damage market, with flooding high on its priorities.

Olivia Treston, BLM partner and joint head of office in Dublin, said: “We feel very strongly that that Ireland needs a flood insurance framework that works for businesses as well as homeowners. For example, the predicted continuing rise of sea levels and flooding could destroy agricultural livelihoods in low lying areas. We would be keen to collaborate with the Irish Government, Insurance Ireland and insurers and develop the right protection against future flooding events.”

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