Opinion Former Article

Insurers on hand for hundreds of traumatised families in the wake of Storm Desmond

In the wake of Storm Desmond, insurers have already helped almost 1,500 families get into alternative accommodation and have so far made emergency payments totalling £2.6m, initial analysis from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows today.

Emergency payments are cash for affected families and businesses to spend on immediate needs, for example food, clothing, staff salaries, domestic appliances and Christmas gifts. Costs for alternative home or business accommodation are paid directly by insurers.

The extreme weather which hit the north of the UK over the 4th and 5th of December resulted in major flooding to properties across parts of Cumbria, Lancashire and in the Scottish borders. Initial estimates suggest the final amount ABI members will pay out to affected customers is likely to be around £520m.

  • Of the emergency payments made so far, £1.7m has been to domestic customers and £900,000 to businesses
  • Customers have made 23,700 claims for property damaged by either flood or storm. Just over 4,000 of these claims relate to businesses.
  • A further 2,800 motor claims have been received
  • More than 4,500 initial visits have been made by loss adjusters, who handle the more severe claims

James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI, said:

“Following Storm Desmond, insurers and their representatives have been there beside those affected to provide practical help and support as quickly as possible. Being flooded is hugely traumatic and insurers have worked round the clock to get the repair process under way, provide immediate payments to people affected and find families somewhere warm and dry to stay.

“The flood waters have mostly receded but for affected families and businesses the impact is going to be felt for months. Insurers and their expert teams will be there for the long haul to help communities rebuild and repair.”


Figures used above are based on aggregated data that has been collated from ABI members.
They have been grossed up to represent the market share of all ABI members.
In 2014, the ABI’s members represented 81% of the UK property insurance market.

Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:

Malcolm Tarling: 020 7216 7410 Mobile: 07776 147 667
Caroline Jones: 020 7216 7327 Mobile: 07725 245293
Sarah Cordey: 020 7216 7375 Mobile: 07860 189071
Anne Mirkovic: 020 7216 7633 Mobile: 07738 817074

2. The Association of British Insurers is the leading trade association for insurers and providers of long term savings. Our 250 members include most household names and specialist providers who contribute £12bn in taxes and manage investments of £1.9trillion.

3. An ISDN line is available for broadcast

4. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.

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

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