The recent flooding in the West Country brought the UK’s unpredictable weather onto the front pages again

Commentators often find it difficult to be sympathetic towards the insurance industry, but it is worth considering what impact the withdrawal of underwriting in flood-prone areas could have on the housing market. A withdrawal of services is the worst-case scenario.

It is good to see the Association of British Insurers looking at more constructive ways of resolving the issue. Stephen Haddrill’s suggestion of a kitemark for housing developments planned on floodplains, which would monitor the flood resilience of homes, seems a commonsense step forward.

Insurers would be assured of certain standards, such as the use of water-resistant materials, while in return homeowners would be confident of acquiring insurance.

Why stop at monitoring houses on floodplains? Flash floods can affect many areas, and a kitemark on all new houses could help insurers and homeowners on a much wider scale. It is only two months since the idea was raised, but time is of the essence in turning this idea into a reality.

Dr Bassam Burgan, chair, Steel Homes Group