In the Netherlands, home of the legendary boy who held back floodwaters by placing his finger in a dike, flood risk is normally excluded from property insurance policies due to the high potential loss. The Dutch state will pay compensation under some circumstances to those suffering losses that the market does not insure, though there are limits.
The National Flood Forum, a U.K. charity that represents people who are at risk of flooding, hopes that the latest troubles will finally persuade ministers and the industry to strike a deal. Talks on a plan have been going on for years and without an agreement people will struggle to get insurance and to deal with the consequences, said Paul Cobbing, the group's chief executive officer.
"The floods that have happened in the last few days are the perfect illustration of why insurance is so important," Cobbing said. "It saves families from ruin."
Homeowners like Jones, 59, from the town of Keswick in Cumbria, want the government and insurers to settle their differences — for the benefit of the people and their piece of mind. She urged homeowners to learn their rights — particularly in terms of what they can ask of insurance companies when they pay claims.
A lot, she says, can be wrapped up in one piece of real estate.
"It's our home. It's our business," she said. "It's our children's inheritance."
Associated Press Writers Angela Charlton, Mike Corder and David Rising contributed to this report.
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