Zurich Considers Reinsuring Cork Flood Victims
Cork Chamber has welcomed news that one of the country’s leading insurance companies will look at reinsuring flood victims after its representatives came to view flood defences in Co Cork.
Senior officials from Zurich Insurance toured flood defences in Fermoy yesterday — which held firm after a massive flood came down the River Blackwater in December 2015.
It was the first time the flood defences had been fully tested and businesses and householders who had been inundated in the past decades breathed a sigh of relief.
However, many complained that despite this insurers were still refusing to provide them with quotes for flood cover. The insurance company took up the invitation to see the defences after a request was made by Cork Chamber, which represents more than 1,000 businesses in the region.
The chamber said that, following the visit, Zurich Insurance was able to see at first hand “the efficacy and robustness of flood defences”, and could use this information when assessing the viability of providing wider flood cover in areas impacted by flooding.
This meeting was attended by Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy, local businessman Michael Hanley of Fermoy Enterprise Board, engineers from the OPW and Cork County Council, and a representative from McCarthy Insurance Group.
Zurich representatives were able to assess earthen and demountable defences, construction of which got under way in 2009 over two phases — one for the north side of the river and the other on the south — which were completed last May.
These defences were fully deployed for the first time during the recent storms and prevented the reoccurrence of flooding which has dogged the town for years, with serious flooding hitting areas such as Ashe Quay, O’Neill-Crowley Quay, Brian Boru Square, and Mill Rd.
Mr Healy described the meeting as “a positive step forward” from the company that they would view the defences themselves and take the opportunity to meet with key stakeholders that have been involved in the construction of the Fermoy Flood Defence Scheme.
Zurich Insurance spokeman Lorcan Harding said they were happy to accept the Cork Chamber’s invitation to see the demountable defences for themselves.
“We are committed to understanding the nature and operation of these defences better to build our knowledge of the flood resilience programme and to inform our assessment of the future risks of flooding in the area,” said Mr Harding.
Paul Kavanagh, managing director of McCarthy Insurance Group brokers, knows more than most the devastation that many locals have encountered over the years as he lives in the town.
“Business and home-owners in Fermoy have been badly impacted by flooding over many years,” said Mr Kavanagh. “The investment in flood defences is beginning to pay dividends for the people of the town. We welcome Zurich Insurance’s presence here in Fermoy to see the works that have been undertaken and we are encouraged that they will take these defences into consideration when evaluating the flood risks in the area,”.
Article originally posted on the Irish Examiner https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/zurich-considers-reinsuring-cork-flood-victims-383601.html