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Insurance Coverage

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 26 May 2016

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Ceisteanna (162)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

162. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 169 of 17 May 2016, the measures he will take to ensure the inclusion of works carried out under the Office of Public Works' minor flood mitigation and coastal protection works scheme in the office's memorandum of understanding with Insurance Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12496/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Memorandum of Understanding between Insurance Ireland and the Office of Public Works (OPW), which was signed in 2014, recognises that both parties have a common interest and objective in ensuring that appropriate and relevant information on completed OPW flood defence schemes is provided to insurers to facilitate, to the greatest extent possible, the availability to the public of insurance against the risk of flooding.

As indicated by my colleague, the Minister for Finance, the provision of insurance cover and the price at which it is offered is a commercial matter for insurance companies and is based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept and adequate provisioning to meet those risks. Where flood defences are constructed to provide protection to areas which have previously been subject to flooding, the insurance industry has made clear its position that the defences should be designed and constructed to protect against a flood event with an Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) of 1% (commonly referred to as a 100-year flood event). OPW flood defence schemes are generally designed and constructed to protect against a 1% AEP flood event for fluvial flood events and 0.5% AEP flood event for tidal floods. OPW provides detailed background and technical information on its completed flood defence schemes to Insurance Ireland, and II members have committed to take all this information into account when assessing exposure to flood risk within these areas.

The purpose of the OPW’s Minor Flood Mitigation and Coastal Protection Works Scheme is to provide funding to Local Authorities to undertake minor flood mitigation works or studies to address localised flooding and coastal protection problems within their administrative areas. The scheme generally applies to relatively straightforward cases where a solution can be readily identified and achieved in a short time frame. In such cases, the standard of protection would not generally be designed to protect against a 1% AEP flood event. Minor works projects are carried out or managed by local authorities, and OPW generally would not have detailed technical and design information on these projects.

As minor works projects are not generally designed to meet the desired standard set out in the Memorandum of Understanding, and as OPW does not possess the relevant technical information, there are no plans to bring minor works projects within the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding.

The subject of insurance against the risk of flooding is one of the matters which will be addressed in the forthcoming report to Government from the Inter-Departmental Flood Policy Co-Ordination Group.

Question No. 163 answered with Question No. 160.
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