Ministers have denied claims by a Yorkshire MP that talks aimed at securing affordable insurance cover for homes at risk of flooding are 'in disarray'.
The future of flood insurance is at the centre of negotiations between the Government and the Association of British Insurers who are trying to agree a new 'Statement of Principles' - an agreement that requires insurers to offer cover to properties at greater risk, on the condition that plans for flood defences are planned for the affected areas.
The agreement expires in July.
But speaking in the Commons this morning, Hull East MP Karl Turner told MPs that negotiations are at 'crisis point'.
– Karl Turner MP (Labour, Hull East)
The statement of principles runs out in June 2013, the ABI consider the negotiations with Government to be at crisis point. They estimate that 200,000 people will be without insurance.
What do I say to my constituents who are coming to my surgery, asking me what do they do about insurance, this is in absolute disarray.
Flooding Minister Richard Benyon said that he "entirely rejects" the claims and insisted they were at a "very high tempo".
– Richard Benyon MP, Flooding Minister
Constructive discussions with the Association of British Insurers on behalf of their members and others about the future of flood insurance continue at the highest levels in Government.
A range of options are on the table, and no final decisions have been taken. We need a solution that ensures affordable insurance bills for those at flood risk but does not place unsustainable costs on wider policy holders and the taxpayer.
It comes on the day another Yorkshire MP launched a petition urging the Government to find 'a suitable replacement' for the agreement.
Graham Stuart, the Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness, claimed negotiations were "not happening fast enough" .
– Graham Stuart MP (Conservative, Beverley and Holderness)
The Government is working with the Association of British Insurers to find a replacement to the ‘statement of principles’ which is due to expire in July but this is not happening fast enough and pressure needs to be applied to secure a fair deal for homeowners.
This is an issue that will affect countless homeowners across the constituency and we need as many signatures as possible to take the voice of Beverley and Holderness to Downing Street.