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Increase in flood risk homes

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Insurers could be facing a surge of claims on home insurance policies after figures showed that the number of properties at risk of flooding has increased by a fifth in five years.

In 2006, an estimated 2.3 million properties were at risk of flooding, up from 1.9 million in 2001, according to the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Shadow floods minister Anne McIntosh said the figures, obtained by the Conservatives from a parliamentary question, were a "resounding call to action".

She said: "More and more people are living with the worry that heavy rainfall might flood their home.

"With 2.3 million properties now at risk it is vital that the Government takes the steps necessary to ensure that people, homes and businesses are better equipped to deal with flooding emergencies."

A review by Sir Michael Pitt of last year's devastating floods made a number of recommendations for dealing with flooding events.

The Government has announced it will publish a draft Floods and Water Bill in this session of Parliament to address Sir Michael's recommendations.

© Press Association 2008