Flood defence investment remains vital as level of insurance payouts following the recent storms revealed.
The damage caused by Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin that hit much of the UK during February is expected to lead to insurers paying out nearly £500 million.
Dealing with 177,000 insurance claims, according to figures out today from the Association of British Insurers.
The figures out today show that:
- There have been 177,000 claims notified for damaged homes, businesses and vehicles, with total pay-outs of £497million expected. Of these claims, 169,500 relate to property damage costing £473 million.
- Emergency payments to relieve immediate hardship totalled £13 million.
- It is estimated that £2.2 million will be paid in arranging alternative temporary accommodation for policyholders whose homes were uninhabitable while repairs being carried out
- There were 7,522 claims for damage caused to vehicles, leading to incurred claims worth £23 million.
This overall payout figure compares to the estimated £543 million paid in storm and flood claims following Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge in February 2020
Sarah Brodie, the ABI’s Senior Policy Adviser, General Insurance, said, Sarah Brodie“Storms and floods are exactly the type of unwelcome event that insurance protects against. When bad weather strikes, the priority for insurers is always do all they can to help their customers recover from what can be a traumatic and costly experience as quickly as possible. From making immediate emergency payments where needed, arranging temporary alternative accommodation while badly damaged properties are being repaired, to organising repairs, insurers continue to support their customers whenever storms strike.”
With climate change impacting on more extreme weather patterns, the ABI will be hosting its Climate Change Summit on 8 June to review progress of the insurance and long-term savings industry in driving forward the sector’s climate change commitments, following the publication of the Climate Change Roadmap on July 2021.
Ben Wilson, ABI’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Climate Change, commented, Ben Wilson “The Environment Agency projects that winter rainfall could increase by between 6 and 13%, while the sea level rises by at least 23cm – at a time when the number of properties on flood plains is projected to double. The scale of this challenge demands that we maintain our sector’s focus on Net Zero and delivering our Climate Change Roadmap.
“Even if the Paris goals are met, our planet will experience major disruption due to rising temperatures. It is vital that the role of the insurance sector in helping property owners recover from the impacts of flooding should be complemented with greater investment in building and maintaining flood defences and a more co-ordinated approach to planning policy.”