Payouts for flood victims reach nearly £450m, insurers say

Volunteers help householders deal with flood damage in Moorland, Somerset Image copyright PA
Image caption Residents in parts of Somerset were left picking up the pieces after the winter floods

More than £446m is set to be paid to those whose properties were damaged by the winter floods, insurers have said.

Updated figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show the total includes £276m to home owners.

Emergency payments of £27m have already been received by those living in flood-affected regions of the UK.

ABI director general Otto Thoresen said current flood damage costs remain "well below" those of 2007, when insurers paid out £3bn.

The total bill calculated by the ABI amounts to the equivalent of £6.7m being paid by insurance firms each day for the period from 23 December 2013 to the end of February.

During that time, the UK was battered by strong winds and heavy rain in a serious of storms, with the Somerset Levels and areas along the River Thames particularly badly hit.

Payouts estimated by the ABI include:

  • £276m to 9,000 home owners whose properties were flooded
  • £149m to businesses, with 3,100 claims made
  • £22m to vehicle owners, with 5,400 claims for flooded vehicles received

'Recovery process'

Mr 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."

Insurers have had to arrange temporary alternative accommodation for more than 2,100 flooded households, at a cost of £24m.

Loss adjusters have made more than 6,500 visits to flooded properties so far to assess the damage and organise emergency payments.

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