The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have released figures that detail the cost last year’s floods exerted on firms. Insurers paid out £1.19 billion for the storm and flood damage caused by 2012’s string of adverse weather conditions.
The figures, detailed in a report by Insurance Times, stated that the figure is the largest annual figure since the 2007 floods, which incurred payouts of around £3 billion. The report also showed that around 486,000 claims were made with an average payout of £18,200 for flood damage and £1,300 for storm damage (domestic and commercial). Insurance Times spoke to ABI director of general insurance, Nick Starling, who said: “Two thousand and twelve may have been a record-breaking wet one, but it was business as usual for insurers, which helped thousands of customers recover from the trauma of flooding.”
Insurers are used to this by now, and as soon as the weather warnings came we were all bracing ourselves for another bad year. Above all, the most important factor is that people made it through the floods safely, and when the water has died down, they then have their insurer to help recoup any losses to the elements.”
Speaking about how people and businesses should prepare for if, or rather when, the rain comes back: “The first priority should be making sure your property and those around you are safe from flooding. Check for cracks in the walls and ceilings and investigate any blocked drains. If you have reason to believe your home or business is at danger from drainage or sewage overflow, you should contact the water company, as they may become the party liable if you ever need to put in an insurance claim for flooding.”
He continued: “The next priority is insurance. “The EA works under an agreement with ABI to try and ensure that the vast majority of properties can be insured against flood risk.”
Last year Geoff Williams, loss assessor from Cherry and Griffiths, spoke to Property Aspects about flooding insurance. He said: “In areas where the risk of flooding is considered ‘significant’ people have a more than 1 in 75 annual chance of flooding.
Where Flood Defences are due to be improved within five years, ABI members will continue to provide cover, and this includes owners of new-build homes. In areas of significant risk where no improvements are planned, insurers cannot guarantee to insure a property but will work on a case-by-case basis to seek preventative or remedial measures and enable cover to be obtained.”