Insurers will be hit with a £1.1bn bill following the floods and storms that hit the UK over the winter, the Association of British Insurers said today.
The ABI said its members had received flood claims equivalent to £6.7m a day between December 23 and February 28 this year. Insurers have already received 17,500 flood claims: 9,000 from homeowners; 5,400 for flooded vehicles; and 3,100 from businesses.
Of the £446m, an estimated £27m is expected to be paid to flooded homeowners, £149m to business owners and £22m to vehicle owners.
ABI's director general Otto 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 dying out process is completed as quickly and as safely as possible.'
ABI said loss adjusters made more than 6,500 visits to flooded properties to assess the damage and organise emergency payments. Flooded customers have already received emergency payments of £27m, it said. Also, temporary alternative accommodation for over 21,000 flooded households at a projected cost of £24m has been arranged by insurers.
Meanwhile, insurers have received 421,500 storm claims: 361,600 from homeowners, 15,200 for storm-damaged vehicles and 44,700 from businesses.
But costs arising from this year's extreme weather events were down, compared to 2007 when a series of destructive floods battered parts of the UK during the summer.
Thoresen added: 'While of course this was a serious and significant bad weather event the current flood damage costs remain well below the severe floods of 2007 when insurers paid out £3bn to customers.'
A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokeswoman told The Actuary: 'We are working closely with the industry to ensure that people in high risk areas can access affordable flood insurance through the development of Flood Re. Ministers and industry leaders will be meeting on a monthly basis to review progress towards recovery.'