Many property owners in England could have problems with taking out insurance if flood prevention measures are not taken, says a new report
More than half a million homes in England could become uninsurable unless action is taken to protect them against flooding, insurance experts have warned.

In a report published a year after thousands of homes were hit by flooding, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that flood protection may no longer come as standard.

It said insurers could only cover the 517,000 homes identified by the Environment Agency as being at ‘significant’ risk of flooding, if the Government ensured they were adequately defended from risk.

The ABI said that without government action and moves to prevent new homes being built on flood plains, some properties could become ‘uninsurable, unsaleable and uninhabitable’.

The group said last year’s floods in England led to 180,000 claims for flood-damaged homes, businesses and vehicles, and that its members had dealt with four years’ worth of claims in two months.

Nick Starling, director of general insurance and health at the ABI, said: ‘These findings reinforce our call for a long-term flood management strategy.

‘In particular, we must tackle the problem of surface water drainage. Planning for the future is essential if we are to minimise a repeat of last year’s terrible floods, and to ensure that flood insurance protection remains widely available,’ he said.