TIME is ticking away for flood-hit residents trying to get insurance cover as talks drag on between the government and insurers.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin and the Worcestershire-based National Flood Forum are calling for a speedy conclusion to talks between Defra and the Association of British Insurers (ABI), to give relief for those in need of flood cover.

Mrs Baldwin said flood victims were now “anxiously waiting” for the deal saying agreement was “essential”.

Discussions have dragged on since last year, and although the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs says “intensive discussions” are under way, no agreement on how to pay for cover has yet emerged.

Time is now short, because the agreement which helps keep the payments for flood cover affordable – called the statement of principles – runs out in June 2013. It works by subsidy arrangement, so all households with home insurance pay a levy on their policies which helps to cover those homes deemed at risk of flooding.

However, because the end of the agreement is less than a year away – and householders pay for annual cover – insurers are having to come up with predictions, leading to some eye-watering quotes.

Mrs Baldwin said: “People who are currently renewing their insurance and are worried that they won’t be able to get cover next year.”

Charles Tucker, NFF chairman, said he knew of a case where a householder had been quoted £2,500 for cover.

He said the Treasury, having funded flood defences nationally and like those at Pershore, Kempsey, Upton, Uckinghall and Powick, is unwilling to put in more money to help subsidise insurance cover.