Flood insurance plea: more support needed

Managing director David Shoesmith and finance director Chris Horner
Managing director David Shoesmith and finance director Chris Horner

A Sowerby Bridge firm which fell victim to the events of Boxing Day says more needs to be done to help business and industry insure against flooding.

Pulman Steel, based at Walton Street, was a scene of chaos following the floods.

Machinery and wagons were written off, the firm’s offices were badly hit and around 60 per cent of stock had to be sold off at knock-down prices or for scrap.

Since then, Pulman has fought back and is now fully operational, but faced a huge battle when it came to insurance.

Managing director David Shoesmith said: “When it came to re-insuring, we have managed to get an offer of cover, which is very limited cover, from the incumbent insurers, providing we put flood defence measures in.

“Out of the list of the insurers approached, all of them declined.

“It is very disappointing that there is a Government-backed scheme for domestic properties to ensure they get cover in flood areas and that hasn’t quickly been extended to industry and business. I would like to see the Government put the same scheme in that they have done for the domestic properties and to support the insurance companies to provide full flood cover for all businesses up and down the Calder Valley.”