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More than half of flood victims did not have insurance

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Distribution of sand bags in Cork city

Distribution of sand bags in Cork city

Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Rough weather conditions in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin this afternoon. Photo: Collins

Rough weather conditions in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin this afternoon. Photo: Collins

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Distribution of sand bags in Cork city

UP to half of all those who had homes damaged in the floods of the past few days had no insurance because the areas where they are have been prone to flooding in the past.

The Irish Brokers Association (IBA) said it was surprised at the low number of claims being made.

IBA chief executive Ciaran Phelan said: "Unfortunately, it looks likely that its mainly the same areas and people being hit again. Hence the lack of cover."

Insurance Ireland, the representative body for insurers, said that just under €20m had been logged in household claims for the storm damage and flooding in December and January, but this number doesn't include the latest two storms.

"We believe that up to half of all recent flooding incidents may have involved people with no flood cover, which is a reflection of the ongoing re-occurrence of flooding in the same areas," Mr Phelan added.

STORMS

The IBA called on the Government to set up a task force involving all of the stakeholders to deal with what it said was a re-occurring problem.

Insurance Ireland said it was working with the Office of Public Works to come up with ways of dealing with insurance in areas prone to flooding.

This could see the OPW sharing flood defence data with Insurance Ireland so that insurance companies can take this data into account when assessing flood risk.

Insurance Ireland boss Kevin Thompson said: "We are confident that we can reach agreement quickly with the OPW to enable the sharing of information which will help our members make flood insurance more widely available."

Insurance Ireland reminded policy holders that:

- Household buildings and contents insurance will usually cover damage caused by storms and flooding.

- Damage to cars is covered by comprehensive motor insurance policies.

- Insurers will usually pay for the cost of temporary repairs, so ensure that you keep receipts.

- Insurers will also pay for the cost of alternative accommodation, if the house becomes uninhabitable (up to stated limits).

Irish Independent