Over €8.5 million has been invested by the OPW on flood protection works along the Dodder River that flanks areas of Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount in Dublin. At the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment today, representatives from the Irish Insurance Federation were not able to state if these works provided sufficient protection to properties in that area to enable them to be insured for flood damage.
The insurance industry in Ireland needs to state why OPW flood protection works are not enough to warrant insurance cover.
I put to them the facts that homeowners in this area cannot get cover for flood damage and have seen their insurance premiums for household insurance increase by up to 100%.I conducted a survey on flood insurance of over 1,000 homes in the area during the summer. There was a huge disparity in how some homeowners are being treated but for those renewing policies or moving providers, flood cover was being withdrawn despite a historical lack of flooding and increased defences in the area.
Homeowners are repeatedly being told by insurance companies that they live in a ‘high risk area’. This is despite flood protection works that protect up to a 1 in 200 year event.
This year alone the OPW is investing €45 million in flood defences across the country but if insurance companies will not recognise the new realities of protection works on the ground the Government will have to act with legislation.
The overwhelming conclusion from the responses I received from residents was that they were told they lived in a ‘high risk area’ and that they would not get cover for flood damage. This was in spite of many of them not even being flooded in 2002 and being further protected now with new barriers in place.
Contact Kevin Humphreys TD
Copyright Kevin Humphreys 2013