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Ministers and insurance chiefs discuss flood response

Minister of State for Policy Oliver Letwin and MP Jo Johnson meet members of the UK Insurance companies to discuss the response to flooding Photo: PA Images

The head of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said insurance companies are responding well to the floods across the UK.

ABI Director General Otto Thoresen said insurers had made emergency payments in the millions of pounds to people affected by the flooding.

He made his comments after David Cameron urged insurance companies to process claims relating to flooding as quickly as possible.

The short term weather forecast is for drier weather across the UK, but some places could see heavy rain and high winds on Thursday.

Some estimate the cost of the floods to insurance companies could be more than £1bn.

The ABI said it had paid out £14m in emergency payments since 23rd December 2014. The amount householders received ranged from £500 to £3,000.

The association said more than 2,000 loss adjusters were on standby to inspect the damage once water levels dropped and nearly 2,000 staff had been assigned to work on customer inquiries.

The following financial help may be available for people whose homes are affected by flooding:

  • Some councils may offer refunds of council tax if homes are left empty
  • Mortgage lenders may temporarily halt payments for some people
  • Banks may waive overdraft fees for flooded businesses
  • Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has said businesses affected by flooding will be given special treatment when it comes to tax
  • Energy customers will be able to ask suppliers for leniency when making payments

Insurers will be meeting with cabinet ministers on a monthly basis following the flooding.

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