Issued by City of York Council
City of York Council is hosting a flood insurance conference on 10 May at West Offices to discuss with city-wide partners, the Federation of Small Businesses, Members of Parliament and insurance experts, how residents and businesses can secure appropriate and affordable insurance and to lobby for national action.
Looking ahead to the expiry in June 2013 of the government’s subsidy for private insurers in relation to floods, the council wants to explore how major insurance companies, supported by the Government, can help those residents and businesses who could face difficulties renewing or affording insurance beyond this date.
In response to feedback from local businesses and residents, this discussion with major insurers and other interested organisations will include addressing issues around accessing insurance, ensuring claims are processed quickly and getting replacement items which will future proof them against further instances of flooding.
The Flood Insurance Conference will be informed in part by the experience and feedback from the most recent floods of September and November 2012. As a key partner of the flood action group, City of York Council supported residents and businesses with matters including waste, street cleaning, council tax, finding reputable tradespeople for repairs, benefits advice and access to emergency and charitable funds.
Key speakers will include:
- Councillor James Alexander, leader of City of York Council
- Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who will bring a national perspective on the issue
- Graham Stewart MP for Beverley and Holderness who has petitioned the Government to reach an affordable agreement with the Association of British Insurers
- John Allan, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses
- Matt Cullen, the Association of British Insurers’ policy adviser on flooding who leads policy work on flood insurance and is an expert on the 2008 Flood Insurance Statement of Principles Agreement
- Paul Cobbing Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum
- Katharine Knox, Policy and Research Programme Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation with expertise on the social impacts of climate change.
Cllr Alexander said: “We want to raise the profile of this important issue that affects thousands of people locally, and potentially millions of people across the country, while lobbying the Government to take decisive action on the real and worrying problems residents and businesses sited on flood plains face.
“In partnership with leading insurance and political figures, we want our conference to inform and influence the renewal of the principle of agreement while, at the same time, highlighting and earning recognition for the extensive work on flood defences which has taken place in York.”
John Allen said: “The FSB has said that it is unacceptable that small firms are paying out thousands of pounds because they cannot get adequate insurance protection. In November our out-going National Chair John Walker met with affected members and James Alexander to discuss the problem and to re-iterate our calls to Government and the insurance industry to do all they can to assist small firms affected by floods.
“We are delighted to be attending the Flood Insurance Conference and hope this will be the first step forward to help small firms plan and minimise damage to their businesses.” Businesses wishing to attend can register their interest at: [email protected].”
Another, resident-focussed conference will address flood-related issues which affect communities, and is planned for later this year.
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