13 November 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Homeowners in Cork are over two times more likely to have been denied home insurance as a result of past flood damage or increased flooding risk than the national average.
In a survey of almost 9,000 AA members and home insurance customers, 0.37% of those surveyed had been denied home cover from at least one provider because of past flood damage to their property. However, 0.62% of respondents from Cork had been denied cover because of a previous flooding incident, with a further 4.42% of Cork homeowners having been denied home insurance because of an increased risk of flooding in their area, compared to the national average of 1.37%
“The flooding issue is a major concern for affected homeowners and more so in Cork than in other counties.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “Winter is coming and if recent years are anything to go by that will mean misery and expense for some. It is really important that people can access insurance at a reasonable price. That can be achieved for many with investments in flood defences. If not, then we have to find other ways to support people. We cannot just leave them in the lurch.”
The survey also found that 21.31% of homeowners in Cork had seen their property suffer at least minor damage because of weather events in the 24 months preceding the survey, slightly higher than the national average of 19.39%. While 0.92% of Cork homeowners had experienced major damage to their property in the previous 12 months, with a further 1.33% witnessing major damage 12-24 months ago, almost 1 in 5 (19.06%) Cork based homeowners had minor damage caused to their property by weather conditions in the previous 2 years.
Gale force winds were the principle cause of the property damage that occurred in Cork between October 2014 and October 2016, with 65.53% of those surveyed identifying high winds as the main cause of the damage. Meanwhile, 46.60% had their property damaged as a result of heavy rain fall, with 8.25% indicating that flood water had caused the majority of the property damage.