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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

5,000 insurance workers on standby for winter flooding response

Insurers have 5,000 workers ready to go into immediate action in the event of any flooding this winter, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) announced today.

Last year's floods 'devastating' ©iStock
Last year's floods 'devastating' ©iStock

This includes 2,750 people to handle calls about claims, and 2,250 people available to send in on the ground to support customers, assess damage and initiate repairs.

Damage, caused by Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank from December 4 last year, is estimated to lead to insurers paying out £1.3bn in customer claims.

ABI director general, Huw Evans, said: “Floods are devastating – for families, for businesses and for whole communities.

“Last winter’s storms were a stark reminder of how vulnerable we can be to the forces of nature and insurers have already been helping those affected by Storm Angus last month.

“We all hope not to see a repeat of last winter’s storms, but if the worst happens insurers are ready to help, on the phone and in person, whatever time of the day or night the flood waters come.”

There were 15,300 insurance claims for flooded properties and around 6,600 for flood damaged vehicles as a result of the storms this time last year.

There were 3,900 families placed in alternative accommodation, paid through their insurance, with the average cost of repairing each home estimated to be £50,000.

In addition, emergency payments worth £49m were made to companies in the first few weeks to ensure they could continue to do business.

“The trauma of flooding can be long-lasting because of the unavoidable time it takes to properly repair a home or business swamped by water.

“So this is also a crucial time to make sure you are aware of any flood risk in your area, and that you consider steps to protect yourself and your property,” Evans added.

The insurance industry have immediate access to tens of thousands of drying machines and equipment in the event of a flood, as well as contracts with hotels and letting agents to provide temporary accommodation.