Insurance bosses have assured ministers that the industrys response to the ongoing flood crisis is under control, but warned that the UK faces a long road to recovery.
Yesterday's Insurance Industry Flood Response Summit at Downing Street came after Prime Minister David Cameron urged insurers to ensure the flood claims process was as 'quick and simple as possible'.
Following the talks, Otto Thoresen, director of the Association of British Insurers trade body, said: 'Insurers emphasised the long recovery process ahead and their commitment to helping customers through this difficult time.
'Insurers assured ministers the situation is under control and that customers have been helped speedily and effectively since the flooding and bad weather began in December.'
For the government, flooding minister Dan Rogerson described the discussion as 'positive and constructive'.
He said: 'We were reassured that [insurers] have already put in place a range of measures to look after their customers, and we have agreed with them further steps to help the recovery process including providing a team of experts to advise on delivering the new repair and renew grants and a commitment to reviewing the cost of 24-hour flood helplines.
'We will continue to meet on a monthly basis to ensure an effective, coordinated response.'
Bosses at Aviva, Direct Line Group, Axa, Lloyds Banking Group and Ageas and RSA attended the summit, along with the ABI. They have agreed to voluntarily maintain the 2008 Statement of Principles on flood insurance, which enables people living in the most flood-prone areas to get affordable flood cover until the Water Bill's flood insurance scheme, Flood Re takes effect in 2015.
They said there was no evidence of firms raising premiums for flood-risk properties in advance of Flood Re.
Ministers were told there are enough loss adjusters and sufficient specialised drying equipment to begin the repair and restoration process once the floodwaters recede. Insurers also stated that the small number of leaseholders in high-risk areas who will not be covered by Flood Re will still be able to access affordable insurance commercially.
Ministers have asked leaseholder groups to identify any evidence of problems, which will then be passed on to the industry.