Canvey Island Flood REassuring or Alarming? WE are to blame?

A recent social media posting on the Facebook “Canvey Island Then and Now” site by a resident, gave an interesting insight into the issues of acquiring property insurance in a Flood Risk area.

Floods 2014 pic via Police Helicopter

View of Canvey Island flooding from Police Helicopter July 2014

The harrowing post read:

“Just a little note to the people on here who like me were flooded and have ridiculous excesses.

I have now got a list of participating insurers in the Flood Re scheme, which will normalise your excess and bring premiums down to reasonable levels.

It has been a constant worry, not so much in the winter but in the summer, just waiting for the high humidity dense atmospheric conditions to align themselves over Canvey Island once again.

I went with Aviva and my premiums are £86 a month for both Buildings and Contents (but I did have add-ons) and the excesses are £250 and £100 respectively, which is a significant improvement from the excess of £10,000 imposed by Legal and General since July 2014!

Hopefully now my property can recover it’s value also and I will be able to sleep again!!!” 

We have no reason to doubt the figures given within the resident’s statement nor that the higher excess charges applied by the insurer were justified.

The Flood RE scheme must be greatly welcomed by most residents in areas  such as Canvey Island where, not only are we at Actual Risk from flooding from tidal sources, but as 2013 and 2014 proved, liable to surface water flooding through an inadequate and “complicated” drainage system.

Why should Insurers be expected to take sole responsibility for flood damage when WE, increase the numbers of dwellings at Flood Risk.

By WE, I refer to the organisation we chose to represent us – Castle Point Council.

Castle Point Council, even in the light of the S19 report from the Government Office for Science and the Multi Agency report into the flooding of Canvey Island during 2014, continue to urbanise, both residential and business development, the area.

WE (CPBC) also, evidently, fail to monitor the developers connections to the main drainage system.

Therefore, why should the Insurance Industry be held solely responsible, when WE Plan further large development that will continue potentially over loading the Island’s drainage system. Well, quite probably, the Insurance Industry will not!

The Flood RE scheme does not cover development later than dwellings built since 2009, neither, I believe, does it cover Business development!

This should be a major concern to not only future residents of the properties planned within the Castle Point Council Local Plan, whether it be the old daft New Local Plan or the new Local Plan2016, but also investors, speculators and financial institutions that provide loans and mortgages on Canvey.

Perhaps the CPBC Local Plan2016 should come printed with an exemption clause: Caveat emptorLet the Buyer Beware!

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One response to “Canvey Island Flood REassuring or Alarming? WE are to blame?

  1. Editor
    The following is an extract from correspondence received from the Environment Agency having posed some searching questions.

    “Dear Mr Sawkins
    Thank you for your email of 12 October about Canvey Island’s flood defences and development. I apologise for the delay in replying.
    You mention a commitment from us to maintain Canvey Island tidal defences for the next 100 years. This is not strictly correct. The Thames Estuary 2100 (TE2100) strategy has set out our recommended policy for the coming years as taking action to maintain the level of flood risk into the future. This will require us to do more in the future to counter the impacts of climate change. However, whilst this is our preferred policy for the island, we cannot absolutely commit to achieving this because we will always be dependant upon the availability of funding. That stated, the strategy will provide us with the evidence to make a justified and robust case to secure future funding”.

    There is no evidence that Government funding will be made available in the foreseeable future, it is therefore questionable why CPBC would commit to large scale development on Canvey Island under the assumption that it will be sustainable for the life time of the development.

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