10th December 2015
Insurance firms have set out the key stages in getting flooding victims back into their homes and businesses as soon as possible.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) noted that insurance firms, claims handlers and loss adjusters who did not already have local teams in affected areas began arriving a week ago, before Storm Desmond took hold, in anticipation of severe flooding.
The trade body said that representatives will now be on the ground for many months to come to help the thousands of affected families and businesses get back on their feet.
However repairing a property after a flood can be long and complex and the process can only begin once the building is fully dried out. The ABI said that while this work is happening insurers will be supporting customers with emergency payments and, where necessary, arranging temporary accommodation or trading premises for homeowners and businesses.
The ABI laid out the six key stages for people who have been affected, these include:
Mark Shepherd, general insurance manager at the ABI, said: “The suffering of families and businesses affected by flooding goes on long after the flood waters recede. Insurers and their teams of experts will be there alongside them, as the hard work of rebuilding gets under way.
“Being flooded is traumatic and of course people want to get back into their properties and get their lives back to normal as soon as possible, especially with Christmas approaching. However repairing a flooded property can take time. The drying process is crucial to ensuring repairs can be completed successfully and properties will be safe to return to. Insurers are committed to beginning the decontamination, drying out and repair process as quickly as possible and ensuring all those involved work well together to meet the needs of affected customers.”
This week the Chancellor George Osborne unveiled a £50m fund to help households and businesses who have been hit by the flooding from Storm Desmond in Cumbria and Lancashire.
Each family would be able to claim up to £5,000 to protect their homes from future damage. Osborne revealed the plan in answer to a question from shadow first secretary of state Angela Eagle who asked whether those affected could have a guarantee of receiving help quickly.
Eagle said only 15% of those affected by last winter’s floods had received promised financial assistance.
As part of the announcement, the Scottish government will receive almost £4m to help communities affected by flooding caused by Storm Desmond. The Government has already announced that about 5,000 homes and businesses hit by floods in Cumbria and Lancashire would be given temporary relief from their council tax and business rates.