10:15AM, Saturday 09 April 2016
Homeowners in the borough’s high risk flood areas could see their insurance bills slashed after a new scheme designed to provide affordable flood cover was announced on Monday.
The Flood Re scheme, jointly run by the Government and insurance industry, will see an annual tax worth about £10.50 collected per home from every home insurer in the UK which will be put towards a central Flood Re fund.
This means that people living in flooding hotspots such as Datchet and Wraysbury will no longer face sky-high premiums to cover flood risk and will instead be covered by the central fund, worth around £180m a year, if their homes flood.
With the flood risk element of policies covered by Flood Re, about 350,000 households across the UK are expected to benefit by having access to more affordable policies.
The new scheme excludes businesses and landlords who do not live in the property themselves.
Houses built after 2009 will also not be covered and the scheme will be in place until 2039.
Datchet resident Ian Thompson said: “It’s something we haven’t got at the moment and it will be operating for 25 years and hopefully we will improve flood defences in that time as well.
“My concern with the scheme is it says small and medium businesses are excluded which could affect shop owners in the village.
“The expense can be pretty devastating.”
Residents in Wraysbury, Old Windsor and Datchet have faced repeated problems obtaining policies from insurance companies over the years, particularly after floods in both 2003 and 2014.
But insurers have already shown their backing to the new scheme with The Bank of Scotland, Direct Line and Aviva Home Insurance just some of the insurers who have already signed up.
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