Winter floods - the cost

19th February, 2016

Christmas is traditionally a time for sitting down with the family, eating, drinking and being merry. For many people across the country however, the 2015 Christmas festivities had to be cancelled. With storms Desmond, Eva and Frank causing widespread damage to large swathes of northern England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, people were forced to spend the new year period in temporary accommodation.

Looking back now at what happened during December, some of the headlines are truly shocking:

  • Storm Desmond broke the 24-hour UK rainfall record, with 341.4mm of rain being recorded on the 5th December at a recording station at Honister Pass in Cumbria.
  • Storm Eva brought with it storm force winds, swollen rivers throughout Cumbria and left 6,000 homes in Ireland without power.
  • Storm Frank left Abergeldie Castle on the brink of falling into the River Dee, after flooding eroded the banks of the river to within feet of the structure's foundations.

In total it is estimated that approximately 20,000 properties were affected by the flooding – 15,000 homes and around 5,000 businesses. Many of those people are likely to be out of the properties for weeks, if not months and many have been busy contacting insurers in an attempt to return their lives to some sense of normality as quickly as possible.

Final Bill Could Be In the Region of £1.3billion

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has estimated that the final bill for repairing the damage caused by the storms could be in the region of £1.3billion. 

“The December storms have brought devastating flooding to significant parts of the UK. Insurers and their representatives have been there to provide practical help and support as quickly as possible to families and businesses coping with the trauma.

The impact of flooding will be felt for many months to come in affected areas. Cleaning, drying out and repairing flood damaged properties is a major undertaking. Insurers and their expert teams will be there to help communities rebuild and repair.” – James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at ABI.

Whilst the £1.3 billion bill is expected to be less than half of the £3billion paid out following the floods in 2007, the average domestic insurance claim is expected to be almost £20,000 higher than those paid out following the 2013/14 winter floods. 

Road Closed sign due to flooding in York

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