Prime minister David Cameron has promised to take a "tough approach" on negotiations with insurers over homes in danger of flooding.

Up to 200,000 high risk properties are at risk of being priced out of affordable cover when a deal struck in 2000 between the then Labour government and insurers ends next summer.

The government has been in talks for two years but as yet an agreement has not been reached.

david cameron floods

David Cameron has called on insurance companies 'to do what they are meant to'

"I'm sure we will do a deal," Mr Cameron said. "We are in negotiations at the moment.

"We need to take a tough approach frankly and it's important insurance companies do what they are meant to, which is provide insurance to households and we are going to make sure that happens."

Mr Cameron said he was determined to reach an agreement. "I am personally involved," he said, "(Cabinet Office Minister) Oliver Letwin is doing this negotiation on my behalf.

"The current situation we have lasts until the middle of next year and we have some time to sort it out.

"But I want to get it sorted. I've seen myself in my own constituency the difficulty people have when they can't get insurance.

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"It's not just it makes them feel unsafe in their own home but they can't sell their own home, so it's very important we get this sorted on their behalf."

Mr Cameron was speaking after he met householders in the village of Buckfastleigh, Devon, which was struck by flash flooding at the weekend.

"It is obviously very traumatic when communities are hit by flooding like this but what I found are people are incredibly steadfast and have behaved incredibly bravely at handling the flood and now we need to help them with the recovery," he said.

"We have to make sure their insurance pays out, make sure the Environment Agency puts in place good flood defences, make sure there are better warning schemes.

"There are always lessons to learn and I wanted to come here and hear it for myself."

Mr Cameron also visited recently-built flood defences on the River Dart, which have helped protect the local area from worse flooding.

The prime minister defended his government's record on providing flood defences despite a cut in the budget.

"We are spending over £2 billion on flood defences over the current four-year period, which is 6% less than was spent over the last four years," he said.

floods tewkesbury

Flooding is still affecting large parts of the UK, including Tewkesbury

"But as well as that, we are actually encouraging private and other money into flood defences and making sure they are more efficient as we build them.

"I am quite convinced we are going to provide flood defences for another extra 145,000 homes over the period ahead and that's very important."

Mr Cameron met two residents of Station Road in Buckfastleigh whose homes had flooded on Saturday night.

He met mother-of-two Musky Kendall and her neighbour James Rice and was shown around their houses.

Ms Kendall, 48, mother to Louis, 12 and eight-year-old Gus, said she and her partner Richard Lloyd had just 10 minutes' warning before their home flooded from the rising River Dart.

After she met the prime minister, she said the water would have caused thousands of pounds of damage as household appliances will have to be replaced, as well as carpets, flooring and skirting boards.

david cameron devon

Musky Kendall told the prime minister of the effects the flood had on her home


"We had just 10 minutes' warning," she said.

"Richard went out to move the cars to higher ground and the water was just rushing down the street.

"My sons were terrified but they were brave and they helped throw things upstairs.

"The cat was locked in a room upstairs and the two guinea pigs were put in a cardboard box and taken upstairs as well.

"Seeing the force of the water was just phenomenal and quite scary and we didn't want to stay in the house, even upstairs.

"We lost quite a lot of power and we were reaching for torches. I was lucky that my partner is an electrician.

"There was just no time. People say that and you just don't realise and appreciate it until it happens to you," she added.

"We don't want to move but it makes you think about where you store your possessions.

"I've always kept the photos upstairs but I've lost sentimental stuff like my grandmother's old scrabble set."

Ms Kendall, a school admin worker, said the flash flood happened at around 9pm when water started coming through the garage, from under the floorboards and over a neighbour's wall.

She told the prime minister that the water reached a height of between 2ft and 3ft in the garden and 1ft in the house, as well as gushing down the street.

For the last three nights she and her family have stayed with her sister.

Mr Rice, 32, said he rushed home from work as the manager of a local chip shop when he heard the flash flood was on its way.

"It don't think we'll see anything like it again and it was a freak of nature - a perfect storm," he said.

uk floods

David Cameron talks to James Rice who described the flood as 'a perfect storm'

Mr Rice, who rents a cottage that backs onto the river, said the flood water nearly burst through his rear garden wall - rising almost 10ft.

"It started at about 9pm and by 10pm this house was under water and it was at its worst from then until midnight," he said.

"The water just rushes straight off Dartmoor into the river, which is one of the fastest rising and falling rivers in the country.

"1979 was the last time it flooded here and since then they have put in some flood defence system.

"Fortunately my landlord had all the electric sockets moved higher up, so I didn't have any electrical problems."

Mr Rice, who does not have contents insurance, told the prime minister he had not lost too many possessions but would have to speak to his landlord about when he would be able to move back into his home.

After leaving Devon, Mr Cameron travelled to Gloucester to meet emergency staff who have been dealing with the flooding of the River Severn.

The prime minister met those co-ordinating the Gloucestershire's efforts against the severe weather at the TriService Emergency Centre in Waterwells, Quedgeley.

Jon Hall, chief fire officer of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, later tweeted: "Prime Minister came and thanked @glos_prepared @glospolice and @glosfire staff this afternoon - Not necessary but much appreciated."

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  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Residents of Old Malton moves their bikes through waters as they begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Workers wade through waters as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: People walk through waters surrounding buildings as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Workers walk through water as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD-MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: A man walk around the corner in flood waters as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: A man walks in the water as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Rescue works assist the area as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: A woman holds her dog while moving through the water as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Machinery drains water as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: A man walks in the water as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath

    OLD MALTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: A man pedals a bike through water as residents of Old Malton begin to deal with the aftermath of the recent floods on November 28, 2012 in Old Malton, England. Fire crews continue to pump large amount of surface flood water away from overflowing drains that have been threatening many properties in the area. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Autumn Weather November 27th

    Washing hangs from a line in a back garden in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Weather November 27th

    North Easterly winds bring gales and huge waves to the North East coastline as the harbour at Seaham takes the brunt of the storm.

  • Autumn Weather November 27th

    Water flows over the High Force water fall in Middleton-in Teesdale as rivers across the country burst their banks.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Fire fighters make their way along a flooded main street in Old Malton, North Yorkshire.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Fire fighters carrying cups of tea make their way along the flooded main street in Old Malton, North Yorkshire.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Fire fighters make their way along the flooded main street in Old Malton, North Yorkshire.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    A fire fighter makes his way along the flooded main street in Old Malton, North Yorkshire.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    North Easterly winds bring gales and huge waves to the North East coastline as the harbour at Seaham takes the brunt of the storm.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    North Easterly winds bring gales and huge waves to the North East coastline as the harbour at Seaham takes the brunt of the storm.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Prime Minister David Cameron talks with resident James Rice, in Buckfastleigh, near Exeter, as he explains how the floods quickly rose inside his house during the recent floods.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Prime Minister David Cameron listens as resident Musky Kendall, in Buckfastleigh, near Exeter, explains how the floods quickly rose inside her house during the recent floods.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Prime Minister David Cameron, walks through Buckfastleigh, near Exeter, which was hit by a flash flood last week following heavy rain.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Prime Minister David Cameron listens as resident Musky Kendall, in Buckfastleigh, near Exeter, explains how the floods quickly rose inside her house during the recent floods.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Prime Minister David Cameron listens as resident Musky Kendall, in Buckfastleigh, near Exeter, explains how the floods quickly rose inside her house during the recent floods.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Crew Commander from Tewkesbury fire station Dave Webb carries 19-month-old Beth with her mother Tina Bailey carrying her three and a half year old sister Hannah, after they were rescued from their house in Gloucester.

  • Autumn Weather November 27th

    A man looks out of a window as a crew from the RNLI and paramedics pass a submerged car in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn Weather November 27th

    A man climbs into a lifeboat in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Flood Warnings In Northern United Kingdom As Heavy Rain Storms Hit

    ST ASAPH, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 27: An RNLI life boat crew work in the flooded streets of St Asaph in North Wales after torrential overnight rain on November 27, 2012 in St Asaph, United Kingdom. Residents in up to 500 homes in St Asaph have been advised to evacuate as flood waters continue to rise and the River Elwy breaks its banks. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire is surrounded by floodwater as the River Severn swells after days of heavy rain.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Workmen construct a raised walk way for residents in flats in the Skeldergate area of York city centre.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Sandbags and pumps work to keep the River Ouse from flooding York city centre.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Floodwater in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    A property surrounded by floodwater next to the River Severn in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Dion Bekatoros works to keep out the rising water of the River Ouse outside his taxi office in York city centre.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Sandbags and pumps work to keep the River Ouse from flooding York city centre.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Floodwater in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    A crew from the North Wales Fire and Rescue service help a resident to safety in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Residents walk along a flooded street in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Residents of St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales make their way through flood waters after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Crew Commander from Tewkesbury fire station Dave Webb carries 19-month-old Beth with her mother Tina Bailey carrying her three and a half year old sister Hannah, after they were rescued from their house in Gloucester.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    A woman carries her dog as she makes her way through flood waters in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    A crew from the North Wales Fire and Rescue service help a resident to safety in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    A crew from the North Wales Fire and Rescue service help a resident to safety in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Residents of St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    People rescue chickens from flooding in Gloucester.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Tina Bailey with her daughters 19-month-old Beth and three and a half year old Hannah, as they were rescued from their house in Gloucester.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Crew Commander from Tewkesbury fire station Dave Webb (right) carries 19-month-old Beth with her mother Tina Bailey carrying her three and a half year old sister Hannah, after they were rescued from their house in Gloucester.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Resident walk through flood waters in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    A crew from the RNLI make their way through flood waters in St. Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded overnight.

  • Autumn weather November 27th

    Crew Commander from Tewkesbury fire station Dave Webb carries 19-month-old Beth with her mother Tina Bailey carrying her three and a half year old sister Hannah, after they were rescued from their house in Gloucester.