ABI: February storms will cost some £500 million; flood investment crucial

The UK’s Association of British Insurers (ABI) has indicated that flood defence investment remains vital as it suggested that the damage caused by Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin that hit much of the UK during February is expected to lead to some £500 million in insured losses.

The figures released by the ABI also 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.

Commenting on the assessment, Ben Wilson, the ABI’s director of Corporate Affairs and Climate Change, said: “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.”

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