Insurers will be hit by up to £100m of property insurance claims following recent storms and heavy rain across the UK, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

And the ABI has warned that the number of flood claims could rise if the heavy rainfall continues.

ABI deputy property and household manager Gemma Hawes said: "Water tables are high and there are watches on various stretches of rivers, particularly the Severn."

She added that some rivers were more than 5m higher than normal.

As Insurance Times went to press, the Environment Agency had 41 flood warnings in force for the Midlands, south west England and Wales. It also had severe flood warnings at two locations in Wales.

Loss adjuster Capita McLaren's said the scale of the damage in Scotland and the North of England is equivalent to that caused by the storms at Christmas 1998, which were the worst the regions had encountered for 30 years.

Capita McLaren's technical director Phil Heron said: "We expect a significantly higher volume of claims than usual over the next few weeks, and it's imperative that the industry works together to accommodate them efficiently."

The firm has drafted in additional adjusting and support teams to offices throughout the worst affected regions to deal exclusively with storm claims.