UK flood bill rises to £446 million

14 March 2014

The insurance bill for UK flood victims is expected to top £446 million, according to the Association of British Insurers.

The bill is equivalent to around £6.7 million a day during the two-month period the UK was hit by floods.

The wettest winter on record saw thousands of homes flooded across large swathes of the UK, with Somerset Levels and the Thames Valley particularly badly affected.

Between 23 December and 28 February, insurers received 17,500 flood claims in total, with 9,000 of those from homeowners, 5,400 for flooded vehicles and 3,100 from businesses.

Out of the £446 million, an estimated £276 million is expected to be paid to flooded homeowners, £149 million to business owners and £22 million to vehicle owners. The ABI also estimates that when claims for storm damage are also included, the bill for the period could top £1.1 billion.

Flooded customers have already received emergency payments of £27 million and insurers have arranged for temporary accommodation for more than 2,100 families who have had to move out because of the deluge.

Loss adjusters have made more than 6,500 visits to flooded properties in the three months in a bid to assess flood damage as well.

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ABI director general, Otto Thoresen, said: "The flood waters may have mostly receded, but for many the distress of being flooded remains raw. Insurers and loss adjusters are playing a crucial role in the recovery process.

"A badly flooded property can take months to become habitable again, so insurers continue working around the clock to ensure that the drying out process is completed as quickly and as safely as possible.

"While of course this was a serious and significant bad weather event the current flood damage costs remain well below the severe floods of 2007 when insurers paid out £3 billion to customers."

Regarding storm damage, insurers have received 421,500 claims during the winter period.

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