BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann continues to reject compulsory insurance against damage caused by natural hazards, but is only in favor of insurers being obliged to offer such insurance. The FDP politician said on Wednesday in Berlin that it was a good thing if people decided to insure buildings against flood damage and other natural hazards and "everyone should get an offer". In the case of old policies, this should be done by offering the option to top up accordingly. Offers for new contracts should include natural hazard insurance, "which you can opt out of". This would be a quick solution to increase the overall coverage rate.

However, Buschmann emphasized that he does not believe that owners should be obliged to take out such insurance, as this could force people to give up their homes in individual cases due to high insurance premiums. Some tenants could be confronted with a massive increase in ancillary costs in the event of compulsory natural hazard insurance.

Buschmann rejected arguments that premiums would become cheaper for everyone if insurance were compulsory. He said that the level of the premium would ultimately depend on the local risk.

The federal states increased the pressure last Friday in the dispute over the introduction of compulsory natural hazard insurance. The Bundesrat passed a resolution in which it referred to the recent extreme weather events and major damage caused by flooding. In it, it once again emphasized the urgent need to "introduce nationwide natural hazard insurance as quickly as possible". The aim must be to create effective financial protection for those affected against the massive material damage and at the same time relieve the burden on taxpayers, who would have to pay for the support of uninsured homeowners. The topic is also on the agenda of a meeting between the state premiers and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) this Thursday.

Across Germany, only around one in two homes is financially insured against flooding, damage caused by heavy rain, landslides or snow pressure - even though the risks are increasing due to climate change. More than a year ago, the federal states called on the federal government to submit a proposal for federal legislation to introduce compulsory insurance./abc/DP/mis