One of the issues I warned about when writing on the insurance industry’s response to the floods in the north of England before Parliament’s summer recess is starting to rear its head: the prospect that people who were uninsured get treated better than those who were insured. The rumblings from Hull over the last few days are an urgent warning that the government, local authorities and the insurance industry need to work very closely and communicate the same message to everybody affected by the floods.
The concerns were aired by some residents of flood affected properties in Hull who felt that more help had been offered to uninsured council tenants than insured homeowners. It is easy to see how such concerns can arise and how there can be many explanations as to why some claims take longer than others to sort out and, in particular, why some properties will just take longer to repair than others, regardless of who owns them. This is what the insurance industry needs to keep communicating, working closely with local authorities.
The moment the notion that being insured against floods makes little difference to how you are treated if the worst happens then everyone is in trouble. People will stop insuring, the public purse will be expected to bear a huge cost and local authorities just won’t be cope with the consequences of everyone turning to them when disaster strikes.
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