60% of those saved by flood works cannot get insurance

In Local Issues by Denis Naughten

The insurance industry is trying to capitalise on flood victims by refusing them flood insurance even though they had informed their insurer of a flood wall protecting their home, claims Denis Naughten TD.
A recent survey of the residents of the Derrymullen area of Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, who were flooded in November 2009 has shown that 60% of people cannot obtain flood cover even though Galway County Council and the OPW spent €1.5m on a flood wall.

“The flood defence was 100% effective against the most recent severe flooding and protected 100 houses in the Derrymullen area but the majority of home owners were refused flood cover, even after informing their insurer of the flood wall protecting their home,” stated Denis Naughten.

In 2011 the OPW and Galway County Council completed a flood defence wall to protect over 100 homes in Derrymullen which were flooded in November 2009. The cost of this defence was €1.5 million, yet despite this investment evidence exists relating to a lack of flood cover on properties inside the flood wall.

Since 2014 a memorandum of understanding is in place between the OPW and the Insurance Federation. This covers the exchange of information on State investment in flood defences similar to those in Derrymullen, where properties are protected to the 1 in 100 year return period.

“Clearly insurers are not considering the presence of flood defences when making their decisions, resulting in families either having to accept reduced cover or higher premiums,” concluded Denis Naughten.