Insurers won’t quote despite wall that kept water at bay

Standing on the flood wall in Derrymullen are Mike Tully, Pat Harte, and Willie Delvin with details of the survey conducted locally. Photo: Gerry Stronge.

A whopping 60 per cent of houses in one Ballinasloe estate – successfully protected by a flood wall – still cannot get insurance cover against water damage.

The vast majority of these householders informed their insurance companies that flood defences had been provided – but it did not seem to matter when quotations were issued.

Back in 2009, most of the 100-plus houses in the Derrymullen estate were hit by the rising waters – but since then a flood wall was constructed to protect them from any recurrence.

None of the houses were flooded during the recent storms, as a direct result of the flood wall – but yet the insurance companies are unconvinced and will not provide two thirds of the houses with flood cover.

Michael Tully is Chairman of Flood Alleviation Ballinasloe and he is less than pleased with the results of the survey they conducted in the Derrymullen estate. The survey was conducted during the height of the recent flood crisis.

The flood wall resulted in none of the houses in the Derrymullen estate being affected. It was erected back in 2011 and now locals want it extended in order to protect further houses from being flooded.

Minister Simon Harris, who has responsibility for the Office of Public Works, has visited Ballinasloe and has witnessed at first hand the effectiveness of the flood wall which was provided at a cost of €1.5 million.

Mr Tully said that despite this investment anecdotal evidence existed relating to a lack of flood cover on properties inside the flood wall. Flood Alleviation Ballinasloe conducted a short survey on these properties earlier this month.

The survey was administered by visiting relevant households over a three night period. The questionnaire tried to obtain actual data on the vital question of whether or not they had flood cover on their insurance policy and how they rated the service of their insurer.

“Of the 70 respondents to the survey, 100% indicated they had insurance on their property. However of these only 28 stated they had flood cover with the remaining 42 stating they had none.

“This equates to 60% of those polled not having flood cover inside an OPW designed flood defence wall. This is not acceptable in our view,” Mr. Tully added.

“This small scale survey had indicated the majority of people have not got flood cover on their properties.

“Therefore one has to conclude the insurers are not considering the presence of flood defences when making their decisions,” he said.