UK December storms to cost £1.3bn in payouts: ABI
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says that the floods caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank during December and over the New Year in the UK are set to cost ABI members £1.3 billion in payouts to customers affected.
Statistics collected by the ABI show more than 3,000 families are now in alternative accommodation while repairs are made to their homes. The average expected pay out for each domestic flood claim is £50,000 – compared with an average from the 2013/14 winter storms of £31,000.
Emergency payments of £24 million have been made to both families and businesses to spend on immediate needs, for example food, clothing and staff salaries. Costs for alternative home or business accommodation are paid directly by insurers.
Customers have made nearly 15,000 claims for property damaged by the flooding, more than 5,000 of these claims coming from business customers. There are thousands of smaller claims being dealt with for storm damage.
A total of 5,600 motor claims have been received and more than 8,300 initial visits have been made by loss adjusters, who handle the more severe claims, following the floods.
"The December storms have brought devastating flooding to significant parts of the UK,” said James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI.
“Insurers and their representatives have been there to provide practical help and support as quickly as possible to families and businesses coping with the trauma.”
Dalton said that the immediate aftermath insurers have focused on urgent needs, providing families with somewhere to live and helping businesses into alternative trading premises.
“They get cash into the hands of those affected so they can buy food and dry clothes, then they get the repair process under way as quickly as possible,” he added.
The director said the flooding will be felt for many months to come in affected areas.
“Cleaning, drying out and repairing flood damaged properties is a major undertaking,” added Dalton.
“Insurers and their expert teams will be there for the long haul to help communities rebuild and repair."