Emergency accommodation for customers is priority following last week's downpours

Insurers face losses of at least £10m after the recent flooding in Cornwall, according to the ABI.

Downpours last week resulted in flooding that caused heavy damage from flash and river flooding, mainly in the villages of Lostwithiel and Mevagissey. The Eden Project, a popular eco-garden attraction in St Blazey, was under 2ft of water.

An ABI spokesman said the full costs would not be known for some time, but added: “Estimates could rise once properties have dried out. It’s not nearly as big as the Cumbrian floods, but from an insurer’s perspective, this is just what they expect at some point during the year.”

Aviva director of claims Dominic Clayden, who went to Cornwall to assess the damage, said the worst-affected areas were heavily littered with debris and sandbags, as well as mud-slathered roads and 1ft-high tide marks.

Emergency accommodation for customers is topping the insurer’s priority list. “For those homes that have been deluged with water, the drying out process can be quite lengthy,” Clayden said.

The Eden Project will remain closed until next Tuesday. The park’s managing director, Gaynor Coley, said damage to the onsite ice rink had been “more severe than at first thought”.

Project insurer Ecclesiastical’s claims manager, Andrew Brown, said: “At this stage it is not possible to give an estimation of the full work needed to restore the site. We will only be able to assess some of the damage early next week, once initial drying has been completed."

Meanwhile, the ABI has released an insured loss figure of £174m for the Cumbrian floods exactly a year ago.

ABI director of general insurance Nick Starling issued a warning to about impending flood defence cuts.

“The government needs to implement a long-term flood management strategy. Managing the flood threat better will reduce the risk of devastating floods like Cumbria from happening again,” he said.