Costello slams ‘intolerable’ approach from insurance companies on floods

13 January 2016

Labour TD Joe Costello has reiterated his view that insurance companies should be obliged to provide flood cover in areas where remedial defence works have proved to be effective.

Speaking today in the Dáil, Deputy Joe Costello stated: “One of the most significant features of the large-scale flooding which occurred in December 2015 and January 2016 is that no flooding occurred in Dublin. This is the first occasion that heavy rains nationwide have not caused flooding in Dublin.

“Inner City Dublin was the area most prone to flooding in the past. Clearly the remedial defence works which have been carried out by Dublin City Council and the OPW have been effective.

“East Wall, North Strand, Clonliffe, Ballybough and Cabra were particularly vulnerable and homes there were regularly flooded in the recent past.
“Substantial funding was invested and substantial remedial works were carried out on the Tolka River, the Royal Canal and the Liffey. Swales were constructed in Cabra and water drainage systematically checked by the local authority.

“Dublin City has so comprehensively addressed its flooding problems that the heaviest rains in decades caused no flooding.

“However, the insurance companies refuse to take cognisance of the flood defence works carried out. Because certain areas of Dublin flooded in the past they remain no-go areas as far as the insurance companies are concerned. They refuse to do a risk assessment on the new set of circumstances. They simply won’t include flood cover on the insurance premium. People buying a home in Dublin 3 or parts of Dublin 7 in my constituency are treated like pariahs by the insurance companies when they ask for flood cover on their premium. This is intolerable.

“The insurance industry cannot be allowed to continue to operate in this high-handed fashion. Where the local authority and OPW can demonstrate the extent and effectiveness of the flood defence works the insurance companies should be obliged – by legislation if necessary – to include flood insurance cover on all premiums.”

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