The Government must set out a long-term flood defence programme, says the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The ABI has written to Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, Flood and Rural, recommending the Government spends £8bn over 25 years on east coast defences.
Stephen Haddrill, director general of the ABI, says the Government must not spend money “piecemeal in a constant effort to keep pace with changing flood risks”.
He says a long term strategy would enable the Environmental Agency to spend more efficiently by planning and commissioning work with fewer overhead costs than at present.
He highlights the National Audit Office’s recommendation that the Government spend further a £150m to complete the “essential” maintenance programme planned after the Autumn 2000 floods.
The ABI expresses concerns that even normal rainfall levels could cause further flooding.
Haddrill says: "The scale and impact of the floods has been massive. The cost to the industry of over 60,000 claims is approaching £3bn and more claims continue to come in.”
He says inadequate maintenance caused some drains in areas previously not considered at flood risk to block.
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