Recent heavy rainfall has brought further attention to the ongoing standoff between the insurance industry and government, and the threat of those in risk areas being left without affordable flood cover.
Insurers previously signed a deal with the government by which they would guarantee to offer cover to people living in all but the riskiest locations for floods, in return for the government investing in flood defense programs.
That scheme is due for renewal next June, but insurers have so far refused to commit to an extension. They say that government spending cutbacks mean it is no longer meeting its commitment to flood defenses, with one account saying flood spending will be reduced by 27%, despite protests by Environment Agency staff. Around 200,000 people could be left without flood cover if a new deal isn't reached.
Although overall rainfall has been low in recent winters, there have been several cases of heavy rainfall in a short period increasing flood risks. That's already had an effect on some people in the risk category as insurers take advantage of the fact that although the agreement means they must offer cover, there is no limit on the premium they can charge.