BIBA visits flood affected properties a year on from storm Eva

21st December 2016

One year on from storm Eva, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is set to meet businesses affected by last year’s floods in Cumbria to discuss the lesson learned, resilience and resistance measures and outline a new insurance product that could help protect them against future storms.

BIBA’s Head of Public Affairs, Andy Thornley, will be meeting businesses with their local MP and Shadow Flood Minister Sue Hayman, along with representatives from the Environment Agency.  The meeting follows the launch earlier this month of BIBA’s new insurance product that will include flood cover for many commercial premises and let properties located in areas at risk from flooding.

Andy said: “There are many businesses across the country that have been unable to find insurance because of multiple flooding issues.  Our aim is to provide a solution to as many businesses as possible. One year on, we’re hoping to help local businesses and talk about how BIBA’s new solution will recognise the resilience and resistance measures that have been, and can be, taken to help them cope should flooding occur again.”

In addition to the new flood solution, BIBA has a Claims Working Group that has reviewed the industry’s response to last year’s flooding.

Andrew Gibbons of Mason Owen Financial Services and Chair of the Insurance Industry Claims Working Group, said: “Christmas last year turned into a nightmare for many. But one year on we can see that the industry responded extremely well to the emergency flooding and I believe that 98% of insurance claims were fully or partly settled 10 months after the floods.”

Earlier this month the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reassured people that insurers have thousands of staff on standby to deal with severe flooding this year. Including 2,750 people to handle calls about claims and 2,250 people available to send in on the ground to support customers, assess damage and initiate repairs.

Huw Evans, ABI Director General, said: “We all hope not to see a repeat of last winter’s storms, but if the worst happens insurers are ready to help, on the phone and in person, whatever time of the day or night the flood waters come.”

Winter Storms 2015 – the statistics1

  • Damage caused by Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank that battered parts of Britain between December 4th last year and early January 2016 will lead to insurers paying out £1.3 billion in customer claims. 98% of insurance claims were fully or partly settled 10 months after the floods.
  • The storms resulted in more than 15,300 insurance claims for flooded properties and around 6,600 claims for flood damaged vehicles.
  • 3,900 families were placed in alternative accommodation, paid for through their insurance.
  • The average cost of repairing each flooded home is expected to be £50,000.
  • Emergency payments worth £49 million were made to businesses in the first few weeks to support them as they got back on their feet.

Advice on risk management for those in flood prone areas is available on the BIBA website – https://www.biba.org.uk/insurance-guides/weather-insurance-guides/flood-insurance/ Key points include:

Flood damage can be reduced by:

  • contacting your insurance broker as soon as possible as they can often offer helpful advice in this situation to help you to reduce the possibility of the damage getting any worse
  • moving as much as possible upstairs as soon as you hear the flood alert
  • remembering that doors and windows may be swollen tight and floors may bulge therefore making buildings unsafe following a flood
  • electricity and gas should be switched off and mains drinking water should not be consumed as it may have become contaminated – wait until the green light is given before using any of these utilities
  • pulling furniture away from walls to prevent further damage
  • drying out a building can take months so don’t be in a hurry to redecorate
  • treating walls with an anti-mould solution before decorating
  • make sure you keep a copy of important telephone numbers and policy documents in a safe and easy to find place
  • Call the 24 hour Environment Agency floodline on 0845 988 1188 for information on flooding in your area

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

  1. 1Association of British Insurers stats from 2/12/16
  2. Information on BIBA’s flood solution is available at https://www.biba.org.uk/press-releases/new-insurance-scheme-biba-businesses-risk-flood/
  3. For further information please contact:BIBA press office:
    Pam Quinn, Head of Communications
    020 7397 0223
    quinnp@biba.org.uk

Leighann Forsyth; Deputy Head of Communications
020 7397 0223
forsythl@biba.org.uk

  1. About the British Insurance Brokers’ Association

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is the UK’s leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

BIBA membership includes just under 2,000 regulated firms.

General insurance brokers contribute 1% of GDP to the UK economy and BIBA brokers employ more than 100,000 staff.

54% of all general insurance is sold by an insurance broker and they arrange 78% of all commercial insurance business.

Insurance brokers put the client’s interests first, providing advice, access to suitable insurance protection and risk management.

BIBA helps more than 250,000 people a year to access insurance protection through its Find a Broker service, both online and via the telephone.

BIBA is the voice of the sector advising members, the regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.