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Climate change rainfall warning

car makes its way along a flooded road in Seaham during flooding in 2012. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive

Short, sharp downpours could become an increasingly unwanted characteristic of the British summer if the effects of global warming are to continue, experts have warned.

A landmark study by the Met Office and Newcastle University has identified how climate change could result in heavier summer rainfall, which in turn could increase the risk of flash flooding.

Balkans: 20 die in 'worst floods for 120 years'

The worst flooding since records began has killed at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade. Credit: Reuters\Marko Djurica

The flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago, according to meteorologists, who said it is due to the region getting three months of rain in just three days.

Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in a boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade. Credit: Reuters\Marko Djurica

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Insurers: 'Far too early to say' if premiums will rise

It is "far too early to say" if and by how much insurance premiums will go up after thousands homes and businesses were damaged by the south coast floods, according to the Association of British Insurers.

Malcolm Tarling told Daybreak that insurers would "do the maths" after flood victims had been allowed to safely move back into their homes.

Flooded homes 'can take months to become habitable'

The flood waters may have mostly receded, but for many the distress of being flooded remains raw.

Insurers and loss adjusters are playing a crucial role in the recovery process. A badly flooded property can take months to become habitable again, so insurers continue working around the clock to ensure that the drying out process is completed as quickly and as safely as possible.

While of course this was a serious and significant bad weather event the current flood damage costs remain well below the severe floods of 2007 when insurers paid out £3 billion to customers.

– Otto Thoresen, ABI's Director General

Breakdown of flood payouts

The Association of British Insurers estimates it will be paying out £1.1 billion to customers affected by floods and storms in the wettest winter on record.

£446 million of that figure will be paid out for flood damage alone. Here is how it breaks down:

Homes:

  • £276 million in payouts
  • 9,000 flood-hit home owners

Businesses:

  • £149 million in payouts
  • 3,100 claims were received from this sector

Vehicles:

  • £22 million will be paid to flood-hit vehicle owners
  • 5,400 claims for flooded vehicles

Insurers to pay out more than £1bn for bad weather

File photo dated 11/02/14 of a resident pumping out water from his house in Wraysbury, Berkshire. Credit: PA

An estimated £1.1 billion will be paid in insurance claims to people whose homes, businesses and vehicles were damaged in floods and storms this winter, according to figures released today by the British insurance industry.

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Floods boost for jobs market 'worth £250m'

Water surrounds flooded properties on the Somerset Levels near Bridgwater. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

The outlook for jobs has been given an unexpected boost by the floods as extra staff are taken on to deal with damage caused by the atrocious weather, according to a new report.

Employment firm Manpower said demand for builders and other tradesmen and women had increased, boosting the industry by an estimated £250 million.

Energy firms have also had to recruit more engineers in the past few weeks to help restore power to thousands of homes, as well as more customer service workers to handle compensation claims.

Govt's flood insurance 'won't cover expensive homes'

Insurers have warned that the Government's Flood Re scheme will not cover expensive properties in council tax band H - even though residents will have to pay the levy.

Thousands of under-threat homes in the Thames Valley and Somerset Levels are thought to be affected by the loophole.

A flooded garden as the River Thames has burst its bank and flooded roads and property in Chertsey in Surrey. Credit: PA

Stephen Lark, director at Lark Insurance, said: "The threat to property in the Thames Valley only further underscores a very serious flaw in the Government's flood insurance scheme.

"Thousands of properties will be included in the cost of Flood Re while being banned from the scheme's protection. The Government needs to listen to homeowners and the insurance industry and fix these unworkable proposals."

NFU Mutual: 8,000 claims received 'could cost £60m'

Prime Minister David Cameron visits a flooded farm in Fordgate, Somerset

NFU Mutual which provides insurance for 70% of the farming industry, rural homes and businesses has told ITV News it has received over 8,000 claims after recent floods.

They estimate the cost of these claims will be £60m.

Insurance industry 'facing £500m' weather claims bill

Beach huts left damaged in the Devonshire town of Dawlish after high tides and strong winds. Credit: Press Association

The accountancy firm Deloitte has told ITV News that if the accumulation of extreme weather claims extends further into February, the insurance industry could be facing a bill of £500m for the exceptional autumn and winter weather claims.

This would matching the cost of the big freeze of 2010.

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