Residents refused cover and forced to pay hiked premiums after 2009 deluge

The majority of Mardyke residents have been refused flood cover and had their insurance premiums doubled since the Cork floods of Nov 2009, a residents’ spokesperson has said.

And in nearby Peters St, one resident had her flood and subsidence cover removed from her insurance policy, while her premium more than doubled.

The Cork deluge resulted in damage estimated at almost €150m to the city at the time.

Mardyke Residents spokesman Barry Keane said insurance cover was declined for a lot of residents in the area.

“Be it that the insurance companies judged Mardyke as a flood plain or saw it as an error on the ESB’s part, they must have thought the area had potential to flood again and raised the insurance premiums,” Mr Keane said.

“It is yet to be decided as to whether it was an error on the ESB’s part but I’m sure the result of that decision should make a difference to the locals’ premiums again.”

Peters St resident Breda Scanlon said her premium was raised straightaway. Ms Scanlon and her neighbours lost their flood and subsidence cover on their insurance policies.

“My premium rose from €261 to €543,” she said. “And now we pay that price without the flood and subsidence on the policy. People who weren’t even flooded experienced price hikes in their policies.

“The insurance premiums will never decrease again. We have yet to get back on track here. Meanwhile, we are living in the fear of having no flood cover, what if we are flooded again? We will have nothing.”

On Lancaster Quay in the Western Road, Cafe Paradiso’s owner Denis Cotter said he was surprised he received flood cover on his business’s insurance the year after the 2009 floods.

“Their attitude must have been that the floods were a once-off freak accident,” Mr Cotter said. “My insurance premium did rise, however, but no more than anyone else’s in Cork City.”

Meanwhile, University College Cork is suing the ESB for €18m over the flood damage the college experienced.

The college claims the ESB was negligent and caused severe flooding by releasing too much water in too short a time from the dams.

The claim was transferred to the Commercial Court in January and is due to begin this month.

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