He is in the process of collating information from residents, about their insurance premiums from before the 2019 flood, and after it.
Mr Smith said: ‘Some residents reported their insurance was £400 per year before the 2019 flood, and is now £3,500 per year. Others are finding it difficult to even get insured for flooding.’
He added: ‘This isn’t the first time the area has flooded, there were floods in 2002 and 2015, however, from the responses I have received so far, it seems that there has been the greatest jump in insurance prices after the 2019 flood.’
Once Mr Smith has collated the information, and gained permission from the residents to use the data, he will compile it into a report, and take it to insurance companies, brokers and assessors, some of whom have determined the area as a floodplain.
Glen Road, which is the area in Laxey that Mr Smith is focusing on, is situated next to the river.
Mr Smith explained that at the time of flooding, there was work being done on the river wall, which meant that there was less of a flooding defence to cope with the exceptional weather conditions.
Since the 2019 flood, a flood alleviation scheme has been developed.
Infrastructural changes made under this scheme include, a new reinforced concrete river wall being installed, larger drains and a catcher to prevent woodland debris blockages.
Mr Smith said: ‘I hope that by arguing that the flood was caused by a man-made issue, and that many mitigations have since taken place, which are designed to prevent flooding and manage waterflow, that those in the industry will stop assessing it as a floodplain.’
He is taking matters into his own hands, after Tynwald decided that it is unlikely that the Isle of Man would be permitted to join the UK’s “flood re scheme”.
This is a UK government scheme, which acts to keep the insurance for households at risk of flooding at an affordable price.
Mr Smith said: ‘The issue with this, is the Isle of Man would be a burden to the UK government, by adding additional properties for the UK government to pay towards re-insurance.
‘Considering the looming recession, this will be low priority for the UK government, so it is best to take it into our own hands by liaising directly with insurance companies, assessors and brokers, both on and off island.’