Thursday, February 13, 2014

Marshmeadows flooding raises need for state disaster insurance

Gerry Adams and Oisin O' Connell touring the Marshmeadows area
“There is simply no logic or justification for a business to be told that you cannot get insurance because you are based on a flood plain,” according to local Sinn Féin election candidate Oisin O’ Connell, “If that is what we are to accept then areas like Marshmeadows will very quickly be void of all business activity and left abandoned.”

Mr O’ Connell was speaking as he toured the Marshmeadows flood site with Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams recently.  He told Mr Adams that he believed strongly in the establishment of a limited state insurer for emergency zones which simply could not be covered by private insurance.

“Such provisions are already in place in many other countries, including the United States,” Mr O’ Connell said, “It is necessary.  How else do you expect businesses to operate in such areas? Maybe we have accepted it for so long because we have got lucky and this is the first year where floods have been consistent and severe all at once.”

“The businesses in Marshmeadows and elsewhere were told that they could not get insurance because they were on a flood plain.  In such a scenario there has to exist a fall back.  In this case, a state insurer who will cover the operation and pay out in the event of a disaster like the one we have witnessed in recent weeks.”

Mr O’ Connell said that such a measure needed to be put in place now for future floods but admitted that it would do little to help the businesses that have been impacted on this year.  “I welcome the fact that the government has announced a compensation fund but this must be made easily accessible and pay outs must be quick or else many businesses that have incurred heavy losses will go to the wall before they can be aided.”

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