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Millions face home insurance woe

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If the Government does not continue to invest in flood risk management millions of homeowners face being unable to adequately insure their properties, local authority leaders have warned.

The Local Government Association has worked out that about 5.5 million homes in England and Wales are in areas at risk of flooding.

The stance of the previous government was for homeowners to continue to be offered flood cover in the affected areas, something which the home insurance industry agreed with so long as the flood risk was being adequately managed.

But the agreement is due to expire in 2013, and local government leaders fear the insurance industry may refuse to offer affordable cover, if it thinks the Government is failing to invest sufficient resources in flood defences.

The Environment Agency estimates that spending on flood risk management needs to double to £1 billion a year by 2035 just to maintain the number of properties that are protected at its current level.

But from April 2011 councils will face new costs as they take on new responsibilities for co-ordinating the different organisations responsible for flood management under the Flood and Water Management Act.

© Press Association 2010