Insurers are calling this week's flash floods a "freak occurrence", writes Dermott White.

Loss adjuster Cunningham Lindsay's director Phil McNeilage said his firm was dealing with several hundred claims, but insurers would ride out this particular storm. "I don't think there's any significance, meteorologically, in this event. We're not reading it as such," he said.

Another loss adjuster, GAB Robins, said it was handling a number of household claims in Essex and Cambridgeshire.

"However, these numbers are not as significant as last year, as the flooding is localised, though some areas are still inaccessible," it said.

A spokeswoman for Norwich Union said last year's flooding did not impact on overall premium levels, with the average household premium rising by between 5% and 10% since last year.