Further flooding this week has increased the pressure on the government to increase its spending on flood defences, including dams.

On Monday evening, cracks appeared in a dam at the Ulley reservoir near Rotherham.

Research by David Crichton, of the Benfield hazard research centre, has revealed that 69% of the 5,000 dams in the UK were unsafe.

“But the UK has no emergency evacuation plans for dam failure,” he said. “Existing dam break maps must be published."

Alan Gairns, property development manager at Royal & SunAlliance, added that insurers would be forced to pick up the tab for flooding caused by dam failure.

He said the debate on flood defence had focused on river and coastal flooding. “[Dam flooding] is something we need to investigate further,” he added.

On Monday alone 3,200 flood claims were made – almost a quarter of the annual average of 13,700, following heavy rain.

The ABI estimates that flood damage in June has run into hundreds of millions of pounds.