Work starts today on the £6,000,000 flood defence programme to try and improve the flood defences that protect Keswick from risk of flooding. No stranger to this event, homes and businesses will find it hard to renew their flood insurance after the Governments goes ahead with its removal of the agreement between itself and the insurance companies to provide insurance cover providing the risk is no greater than a once in 75 years chance of happening.
The agreement expires in June 2013 and the Association of British Insurance will not renew it. What this means to home owners and businesses is that their properties may be worthless in terms of resale value. Who wants to buy a property they can’t insure?
The work in Keswick includes the building of a wall and the felling of tees, but will that be enough to tempt insurers to underwrite the risks involved. Many of the mainstream “well known” household names will decline to become involved as they maintain their market position based on beating their opposition on premiums levels. This means that higher risk properties will simply be refused insurance.
It needs a specilaist flood insurance broker to sift out the companies that will underwrite the risk and offer householders cover.
Carlisle had 1,925 homes flooded in January 2005 and Keswick, Cockermouth and Appleby also suffered with 2,064 properties flooded.
Although flood defences can be successful in holding back rising rivers and tidal surges there is still the risk of surface water flooding that occurs when the storm drains can’t cope with heavy torrential rainstorms, so it might be that some of the work might still be in vain.
The rainstorm season is approaching as the warming sun sends all the winter moisture aloft to build cumulo nimbus rain clouds, and theses are totally unpredictable as to when and where they will dump all that moisture on the unsuspecting towns below.