The Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Flood Re have published a joint report into the state of the UK’s flood defences.
The report comes out ahead of the government’s consultation on its comprehensive spending review and highlights the vital need to maintain the UK’s flood defences in good condition.
Flooding remains the greatest natural disaster risk in the UK, with one in six properties in England and Wales in danger of succumbing to it.
According to the report, titled ‘Modelling the Impact of Spending on Defence Maintenance on Flood Losses’, river flood defences provide protection to flood risk communities valued at £568m a year, and for every £1 increase in maintenance spending, around £7 is saved in capital spending on defences.
James Dalton, ABI’s director of General Insurance Policy, said: “This report makes the compelling case for greater spending on the maintenance of flood defences on which our flood vulnerable communities depend.
“Our report makes clear that not properly maintaining flood defences reduces their lifespan and increases costs overall, so not investing in maintenance is a false economy.”
Andy Bord, CEO of Flood Re, said: “2014 saw the devastating damage and cost in failing to invest in flood defence maintenance. This simply cannot happen again.
“Our primary concern must be to protect communities and families from the impact of flooding. Today’s report shows that it is also financially reckless to do otherwise.”