The Cost of the Floods of 2012

The damage and destruction that a flood can cause is expensive and it is expected to cost insurers over £1bn to clean up the floods of 2012.  Some of the wettest years on record have been since 2000, which is now more than ever putting tremendous pressure on the government and insurance companies to renew their 10 year deal to provide universal cover for all homes, including those within ‘prone to flooding’ zones.

The Environment Agency estimates that approx 8,000 properties were flooded during 2012 and flooding is now becoming the one of the UK’s greatest risk.  Renewal premiums are being increased for the 4th consecutive year of up to 5% for those that were not affected by floods but for those that were affected they could see their renewal premiums increase by up to 50%.

Just days before Christmas, Braunton in Devon became a victim of flash flooding.  The local public house, The London Inn is now expecting to claim against their pub insurance for approx £160,000 worth of damages.  They had thought at the beginning that they would not need to claim and things could be fixed but insurers are now saying that they have to stay closed until at least Easter to bring the public house back to its original state to trade.

The claim will include claiming on their pub insurance for the building to be refurbished so claiming on the buildings insurance then also additions of contents, stock, loss of earnings and staff wages.  Check your business insurance policy today to see if you are up to date for the level of cover that you require.  Have your circumstances changed; if so contact your insurer to amend your policy documents.  You are at risk at not being able to claim fully if you do not have the correct business insurance in place, so protect you and your business or you could face a large bill that you will have to pay yourself.

The floods once again have now brought into focus the current disagreements between the Government and Insurance industry on the renewal of the Flood Principles.  Agreements now need to be reached and with continued negotiations of managing flood risks and the requirement of planning controls, talks will continue into June 2013.

Matt Cullen, from the Association of British Insurers warned: “We have calculated following some extensive research that if we do not reach agreement with the Government over what replaces the Statement of Principles then around 200,000 homes in flood prone areas could struggle to access cover.

The Government has played down the likelihood of such a situation.

A DEFRA spokesperson said: “We want to find a lasting solution that secures the affordability and availability of flood insurance for the first time, without placing unsustainable costs on wider policyholders or taxpayers. Our primary role is to prevent flooding in the first place. We are on course to spend £2.3bn on preventing flooding and coastal erosion over this four-year period.