Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that the government will be putting pressure on the insurance industry to pay up swiftly in the wake of recent flooding.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s question time, he said: “We will do what we can to help people to get their insurance payments as quickly as possible. I hope that all parties want to make sure that people insure for the future and that insurance companies pay up quickly.”
His remarks are likely to fuel resentment among insurers, who been angered by the way the government has been spinning the flood crisis. Insurers have objected to the implication that the sector has not been dealing with claims quickly enough.
A senior ABI source told Insurance Times that he was angered at the way the government presented a recent emergency meeting on the flooding crisis. At the meeting, three weeks ago, government officials implied that it had been called to address insurers’ handling of claims.
Meanwhile, GAB Robins has stoked fears of an escalating claims bill for the floods by declaring that reserving for the southern and central floods was between averaging £70,000 and £100,000 per household – more than twice the historical average.
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has estimated that the industry’s property gross loss ratio could increase by nearly 40% as a result of the flooding and storms, leading to an overall gross loss ratio impact of over 10%.