BERLIN/KÖLN (dpa-AFX) - Bavaria's Minister President Markus Soder (CSU) has vehemently spoken out in favor of compulsory insurance against natural hazards for homeowners in view of the recent flood events in Bavaria. The risk of flooding is likely to increase in the future and without compulsory insurance, the taxpayer as a whole would have to be called upon in case of doubt, Soder said on Deutschlandfunk radio on Thursday.

Green Party legal politician Lukas Benner also spoke out in favor of nationwide compulsory insurance against natural hazards. "With the right design, it calls for prevention and ensures planning security for those affected as well as a solidarity-based distribution of costs," he added.

Soder described the proposal by Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP), which relies on voluntary solutions, as a "typical flop". In his view, simply offering homeowners insurance would not change anything and would not lead to a higher level of insurance cover. Compulsory insurance was in the public interest. The FDP must understand that it cannot just be a lobbyist for a certain clientele.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wanted to discuss compulsory insurance with the heads of the federal states in Berlin this Thursday.

Buschmann continues to reject compulsory natural hazard insurance and is only in favor of insurers being obliged to offer it. The FDP politician said on Wednesday that it was a good thing if people decided to insure buildings against flood damage and other natural hazards and that "everyone should get an offer". In the case of old policies, this should be via an option to top up accordingly. Offers for new contracts should include natural hazard insurance, "but you can opt out of it". However, Buschmann emphasized that he did 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 if they took out natural hazard insurance.

Benner, a member of the Green Party in the Bundestag, suggested: "The premium should not be able to be passed on in full to the tenants." He went on to tell the German Press Agency: "Where extremely high premiums are demanded due to a high risk, a distinction should be made between existing buildings and new builds in order to find fair solutions."/dm/DP/ngu