Insurance companies blacklist flood-prone regions

Home-owners to be forced into installing flood prevention devices to offset risk

Home owners in high-risk flooding areas will have a harder time finding insurance as a result of the enormous damages inflicted by last month's record-breaking thunderstorm.

Certain areas are now being blacklisted by insurance companies who have received over 60,000 claims resulting from the three hour downpour.

Almindelig Brand was the first to announce the policy change, with Assistant General Manager Pia Holm Steffensen telling Børsen that there were areas the company no longer wished to insure.

“It’s based on the amount of water, combined with the areas where there are lots of businesses and are highly asphalted, making it difficult to lead the water away,” Steffensen said.

While the actual areas have not been specified – other than the fact they exist both in Zealand and Jutland – residents near Usserød River by Kokkedal and Hørsholm are already unable to seek new insurance claims with the company.

The policy change has not surprised many within the industry, with the Danish Real Estate Association having already predicted that insurance companies would be more careful following the heavy rainfalls.

“The terms for insurance policies have changed as expected after the downpour,” chairman Steen Winther-Petersen told Newspaq.“That one company is taking the lead is not surprising – someone has to start.”

Finans-Watch reported this Monday that a range of insurance providers are making changes to their policies as a result of this summer’s heavy rain.

“Swiss Re has had to reflect the increased frequency and severity of heavy rain in the price of our insurance,” a spokesperson told Finans-Watch.

But the Danish Insurance Association also told the paper that it’s not just price of policies that are set to change.

“There has been backlash from the companies who are now starting to focus on making customers implement damage prevention initiatives,” legal advisor Claus Tønnesen said.

The cost of the early July thunderstorm is now expected to reach three billion kroner – a massive revision on the initial estimate of 1.7 billion.