Floods will add to insurers’ £426m winter flood bill

Further coastal flooding in parts of the UK is expected this weekend, the Environment Agency has warned.

Areas at risk include coasts and tidal areas of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire as high winds and big waves threaten flood defences and sea walls.

Parts of south-east England and Gloucestershire, the North West and the Yorkshire and Hull coast will also be affected by the wind, rain and high tides from today until Sunday.  

At the same time, the risk of river flooding continues owing to saturated grounds and higher than normal groundwater levels.

There are currently 35 flood warnings and 160 flood alerts in place across England and Wales.

EA flood risk manager Kate Marks said: “The [flood] risk is highest for south-west England and the public should stay away from affected coasts and tidal areas and not drive through flood water.           

“On the Somerset levels 40 properties have flooded and Environment Agency teams continue to operate up to 62 pumps, 24-hours a day, to drain an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of water.”

Rising costs

The latest flood warnings come on the back of the ABI estimating that UK insurers will collectively pay £426m in claims from the flooding in the 23 December to 8 January period. This is a result of 174,000 individual claims.

Allianz UK also announced yesterday that it expected to pay £18.5m of this bill on the back of 5,600 claims.