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Blame game between Kenny and insurance companies won’t solve flood insurance problem – Doherty

8 January, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the blame game between Enda Kenny and insurers “won’t get one home insured”. Deputy Doherty pointed out that both sides have questions to answer and the blame game being played served only as a distraction that would not see one more home or business insured.

He said:

“The recent floods have caused great devastation in parts of the State. Now as people turn their minds to the aftermath we have the spectacle of Enda Kenny and the insurers playing a blame game that will not see one more home or one extra business in the State getting insurance.

“There are two sides and neither are blameless. The obvious failure of this government and previous ones to build the necessary flood protection infrastructure is sadly all too obvious. What we are seeing is yet another effect of the disastrous austerity drive that has left investment at such a low level. Those figures and cuts on the page suddenly take on real meaning when communities are under water.

“The insurers are not without blame either. In 2014 a Memorandum of Understanding between the Office of Public Works and the industry was supposed to lead to greater levels of flood insurance in areas where improvements had taken place.  Unfortunately the insurance industry’s response has been mean with no real improvement for communities in at risk areas.

“A recent Report by the Oireachtas Finance Committee showed how even in 2020 after improvements are finalised in Cork City insurers are refusing to guarantee insurance.  The almost unique ,in the EU, lack of any State involvement in insurance in this State has allowed the private companies to pick and choose,  demanding more taxpayer money to be spent on flood protection while keeping their hands in their pockets at all times.

“Enda Kenny would be better advised speaking to his colleagues in cabinet about legal and policy steps they can take to prevent floods while the insurance companies need to be shaken out of their complacency through State involvement if necessary.” 

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