UP to 50,000 homes and business premises may be unable to get insurance for flood damage, even though many of them are not even prone to flooding, it has been claimed.
The Irish Brokers Association analysed data from insurers and information from its own members. This showed that some people were being turned down for insurance cover even when no risk existed.
Brian McNelis, of the brokers' group, blamed the use by insurers of what is called 'geo-coding', which matches geographic information to addresses.
By doing this, it should be possible to tell if an area has been prone to flooding in the past.
Mr McNelis said: "Geo-coding is not always accurate and can leave vast swathes of townlands uninsurable, despite no history of flooding.
"It can also ignore remedial works which render the area far less flood-prone."
Michael Horan, of the Irish Insurance Federation, insisted that 98pc of householders had flood cover.
But he said insurers could only provide cover against possible risks, rather than probabilities.