AXA UK has offered its insights as part of the flooding consultation conducted by the Parliament’s Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA), and the insurer has a number of proposals in mind. These include reforming building regulations and maintaining a special Flood Re database.
In AXA UK’s view, building regulations should be reviewed and reformed to build flood resilience into properties as standard. In its response to the EFRA inquiry, the British operations of AXA Group said doing so would allow insurers to provide support to their customers in all at-risk properties.
The company also believes that, in light of recent flood events, careful consideration must be taken by the central government, devolved governments, and local authorities alike when making planning decisions.
“AXA has continually urged government to prevent inappropriate developments being built in flood risk areas,” noted the insurer. “Where new developments are being built in high-flood risk areas, AXA would welcome further action to stipulate that developers should include stringent flood resilience measures.”
Pointing to the significant consequences of building developments in such areas, AXA UK went on to state: “Government guidance is clear that new properties should not be built where they will be at risk from flooding.
“While AXA recognises the difficulties of meeting housing demand with supply, this guidance needs to be followed by all stakeholders involved in the planning and building of new developments.”
The insurer, which was one of the first underwriters to go live with Flood Re, also wants flood resilient measures to be encouraged and incentivised. “This will go some way towards reducing the impact of future flooding to households both in terms of damage and reduced time in alternative accommodation,” AXA UK told the Parliament committee in its four-page response.
It added: “AXA believes a Flood Re database should be maintained of where resilience measures have been incorporated at the time of a claim, incorporated into new builds, and where improvements have been made to existing properties.”
The goal is to track flood resilient measures and support a system of incentives for households.
EFRA’s inquiry, which focussed on the government’s approach to managing the risk of inland flooding in England, closed on May 15.