Opinion Former Article

ABI pressses for government action on flood risk.

Statement from Stephen Haddrill, Director General of the ABI, following a meeting this morning with Government ministers on the aftermath of this summer's floods.

"Since the flooding in Hull, Sheffield, Doncaster and surrounding areas 100 days ago, insurers have been dealing with over 130,000 claims for homes, businesses and motor vehicles. The cost of claims from flooding in June and July is expected to exceed £3bn.

"Ministers appreciated the enormous contribution of Britain's insurance industry in dealing with the trauma and loss caused by these floods. Without these efforts, huge additional costs would fall on the taxpayer, way above the £53m currently committed.

"It will, of course, take time for properties to dry out properly and only then can necessary work be carried out. We understand that many people will be frustrated that they can't return to their homes as soon as they would like. The insurance industry is doing everything possible to help. But we warned ministers that, in many cases, more haste could mean less speed and the process of recovery will be a long haul lasting well into 2008 for some.

"We pressed the Government to act quickly to reduce the level of flood risk, whether associated with river, coastal or surface flooding. We urged ministers to bring forward the planned increased spending on flood defences and flood management, currently promised for 2010-11. And we stressed that ministers should act quickly once the Pitt Review on lessons learnt has concluded its work."

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Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:
Alan Leaman 020 7216 7440 (Mobile: 07957 482 330)
Malcolm Tarling 020 7216 7410 (Mobile: 07776 147 667)
Jonathan French 020 7216 7392 (Mobile: 07958 330 480)
Erfan Hussain 020 7216 7411 (Mobile: 07712 841 184)
Kelly Ostler 020 7216 7415 (Mobile: 07968 364 302)

2. Total still put at £3bn: overall figure will not be known for many months.
Overall claims at least 130,000:

  • 100,00 property, 45,000 serious, 55,000 minor
  • 20,000 business, 15,000 serious, 5,000 minor
  • 10,000 motor claims

3. The ABI is the trade association for Britain's insurance industry. Its nearly 400 member companies provide over 94% of the insurance business in the UK. It represents insurance companies to the Government, and to the regulatory and other agencies, and is an influential voice on public policy and financial services issues. ABI member companies hold up to a sixth of all investments traded on the London Stock Exchange, on behalf of millions of pensioners and savers.

4. An ISDN line is available for broadcasts.

Copies of all ABI news releases, together with other information from the Association, can be seen on our website http://www.abi.org.uk

More Articles by Association of British Insurers (ABI) ...

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