Presentation by Michael Wade. Crown Representative for Insurance at the Cabinet Office of the UK Government. National Flood Conference Washington DC

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1 Presentation by Michael Wade Crown Representative for Insurance at the Cabinet Office of the UK Government National Flood Conference Washington DC May 2015

2 Role of the Crown Representative.. Role of the Crown Representative is to assist Government Ministers assess whether the UK Taxpayer is achieving appropriate value where risks are insured by HM Government (HMG) or when HMG acts as insurer. Examples have been where Local Authorities or Academy Schools purchase insurance from the market Or, in the case of terrorism insurance, where HMG underwrites the catastrophe risk via a vehicle known as Pool Re for the UK insurance industry. In the case of flood insurance, this has been to examine the issues and risks and, if to create a Taxpayer subsidised solution, then to help in delivering a structure ( Flood Re ) and assist Ministers in resolving important detail amongst the Stakeholders 2 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

3 What are some of the roles for Government - funded by the Taxpayer - in regard to domestic flooding? To identify the risk and scope of responsibility To take macro action flood mitigation schemes ( coastal, river, ground water level etc ) To fund local organisations taking action ( local authorities, volunteer groups, charities etc ) To inform individual homeowners (methods to include social media ) To offer individual homeowners finance to take action per property ( grants, loans ) To ensure that there is both availability and affordable insurance for homeowners and decide whether this should be socialised.. 3 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

4 Background on UK domestic flood Estimated number of domestic properties at risk of flooding in the UK: 5.2 million ( 23.8 million not at risk ) Of which: 3.8 million are at risk of surface water flooding, 2.4 million at risk from river and coastal flooding and 1 million at risk from each of river, coastal and surface water flooding. Highest risk where provision of flood insurance is challenging amounts to approximately 500,000 properties that is, given the choice, insurers would not offer cover or it would be prohibitively expensive Two recent seasons of flooding in the UK 2007 and 2012/3 Previous worst year was in National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

5 Scale of properties at risk in the UK 5 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

6 Role of the Environment Agency in regard to flooding: Respond to severe weather and flooding Develop solutions to flooding Manage tidal flood risk to London Build and maintain flood risk management assets Manage and repair flood risk management assets Warn and inform people and businesses at risk of flooding Use technology to update flood risk maps Work with the insurance industry Report on flood and coastal risk management Raise awareness of flooding 6 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

7 Total expenditure each year 2005 to 2014 on UK flood defences: Expenditure on Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) in England. UK Central Government is on course to invest more than 3.2 billion over the five years from April 2010 to March Taking total expenditure during this 10 year period to over 6.5 billion (inc current year) As well as the additional funding for 2015/16, a 6-year programme of capital investment has been announced of 2.3bn for the period 2015/16 to 2020/21. 7 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

8 UK central Government funding sources Funding is administered through: Department for Environment, Farming & Rural Affairs ( Defra ), Environment Agency (EA) and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). For 2014/15 8 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

9 The winter storms of 2013 / 2014 in the UK In the UK 2013 to 2014 saw the wettest winter for 250 years in the south of England. The extreme weather tested the country's resilience to adverse weather and its consequences, causing flooding and disruption to energy supply and travel. On 5th and 6th December 2013, a storm surge coincided with spring tides producing east coast sea levels not seen since the surge of The surge and spring tide, combined with large wind-driven waves, also meant that water levels along the north-west coast were very high. Had the wind been from the east, the impacts along the east coast would have been even greater. This was followed by a series of winter storms, causing flooding from rivers, the sea, surface water and groundwater. 7,700 homes and 3,200 commercial properties were affected by flooding. 49,000 hectares of agricultural land were affected and 50 of England's most important designated wildlife sites suffered damage. However, the investment in flood and coastal erosion risk management assets and operational response meant that 1.4 million homes and businesses and around 2,500 square kilometres of farmland were protected. 9 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

10 Recent UK flood experience 2007 floods Total insurance claims cost: estimated at 3bn Total number of claims: around 185,000 Total domestic claims: around 130,000 (50,000 major) 17,000 insured households into alternative accommodation Total commercial claims: around 35,000 Total motor claims: around 20, Cumbrian floods Total insurance claims costs of around 200m 2012 floods Total insurance claims costs of 594m 2013/14 winter floods Total insurance claims costs of 450m 18,700 flood claims 10 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

11 How are the current high risk homes covered? Currently, in the UK, homes at high risk of flooding have had insurance available due to a series of voluntary agreements struck between UK insurers and the Government via the Association of British Insurers (ABI). These are embraced in a Statement of Principles of And so UK insurers agreed to continue renewing existing home-owners policies which included flood cover even though some claims experience was adverse. However, the serious short-fall of the agreements were that they did not address affordability of cover just availability. What became apparent was that for affordable flood cover to be achieved it would be necessary to find a mechanism to subsidise premiums and ensure an all-party political will to do so. The preferred route has been to create a reinsurance vehicle to which UK insurers can cede the flood element of unwanted homeowners policies at pre-fixed rates. Importantly, this also maintains a level playing field for new market entrants 11 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

12 Political initiative to create Flood Re Both Government and the insurance industry recognised that a long term solution needed to be found to ensure that an affordable domestic homeowner insurance market became available In essence, a subsidised policy cost for those homeowners living within the 500,000 properties most at risk And that the political parties achieved a consensus view Combined with a consensus support for the Scheme of the UK insurance industry ( negotiated via the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Creating Legislation to enable Flood Re ( part of the Water Act steered through the House of Lords - UK Upper Chamber ) With DEFRA as the sponsoring Department, the Cabinet Office as initiator and HM Treasury to agree financial guidelines With Flood Re owned by the insurance industry ( not HMG ) but to receive the proceeds of a tax levy made on all UK domestic homeowner policies ( empowered under the Water Act ) Flood Re designated as a Public Body reporting to Parliament and also requiring approval by the European Union ( to agree this is not unfair competition ). 12 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

13 How is Flood Re structured? 13 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

14 Flood Re s Private / Public dynamic: 14 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

15 How it operates The UK insurer will offer a quote to a customer including flood risk If accepted, the insurer will have the ability to cede the flood element (only) to Flood Re at a pre-agreed premium rate which is determined by the property value for domestic rates ( Local Authority tax ). Flood Re is obligated to accept the flood risk ceded. It will require the Insurer to inform the Policyholder that the flood element of their policy has been reinsured into Flood Re There might be further requirements for the Insurer to advise their Policyholder to consult with the Environment Agency on Property Level Protections that they could consider There might be requirements for the homeowner to take Property Level Protection measures if the subject of a claim Flood Re will be subject to Review by Parliament every 5 years and with a maximum life of 25 years 15 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

16 Meanwhile Flood Re will Have an independent Board with Executive led by a CEO Be regulated by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) Have operations managed by Capita ( managing agent ) Receive the premiums from Insurers ceding policies to it ( 130m ) and the Levy on all domestic homeowner policies ( 180m ) Assess it s estimated 2.4bn liability ( up to a 1/200 event ) and place an appropriate commercial reinsurance programme via Guy Carpenter. Report to DEFRA and Parliament annually or as required And to it s owners the UK insurers in proportion to business written Accepting new entrants to ensure competition and free market 16 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

17 Some details.. The Insured must be in the name of an individual Open to all council tax bands ( ie home values ) They must be residential And with individual premiums Occupied by owner or immediate family Excludes homes built after January 2009 ( to avoid encouraging building on flood risk zones or constructing new homes lacking in appropriate flood prevention standards Excludes small businesses and leasehold properties (4+ residential units) 17 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

18 Current status Legal framework and principles agreed within the Water Act of 2014 Final Regulations were laid before Parliament before the General Election and expected to be confirmed within the next Session of the new Government by July. Reinsurance programme in process of being constructed / quoted Application to the PRA ongoing process Insurance industry preparing systems to collect the Levy Flood Re operating model being finalised with Capita and Guy Carpenter Flood Re should be fully operational by Spring National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

19 Further information and research My thanks to colleagues in DEFRA and the Cabinet Office in pulling together this brief overview. Information on these organisations and also on the Environment Agency can be located via: Similarly thanks to Flood Re and the ABI. Their website: ********************************************************************************* Crown Representative for Insurance, Cabinet Office, HM Government, UK 19 National Flood Conference - Washington DC - May 2015

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