Impending weather conditions “do not bode well,” warns PwC


It is too early to say if the UK will avoid a repeat of the 2007 flooding which caused almost £2.5bn of insured losses, PwC has warned.

However the forecast for more rain “does not bode well”, according to insurer partner Mohammad Khan.

The Environment Agency (EA) today issued 104 flood alerts and 15 flood warnings, with the Midlands expecting to take the brunt of the heavy rainfall.

“These events coincide with the five year anniversary of the floods in June and July 2007 that caused close to £2.5bn losses to the insurance industry,” said Khan. “At the peak of the floods on June 25, 2007 the EA had 270 alerts of which 15 were severe flood warnings.

“It is too early to say whether 2012 will be similar to 2007 but the impending weather and having so many flood alerts does not bode well.”

Khan urged that homeowners notify their insurers if they are affected by the increased rain or floods as it is possible that several floods may hit in the same area if the rain continues to fall.

Insurers ‘must prepare’

He said the key issue for insurers will be to get their claims assessors out to their customers as soon as possible.

“In 2007, insurers were commended for their response to the flooding, supporting their customers in finding temporary accommodation and rapid claims settlement,” he said.

“We would expect that insurers are making similarly adequate preparations in light of today’s warnings.”

Properties at risk

He added: “This season’s floods also bring into focus the fact that on July 1 2013, the obligation insurers have to offer flood coverage to properties (Statement of Principles) will expire. Given the recent weather, it is likely that the owners of 200,000 properties exposed to flood risk might find it unaffordable to purchase protection.

“Homeowners may have to do more personally to protect their properties from flood damage. The EA estimates that protecting your property from shallow flash floods would require an investment of between £2,000 and £6,000 whereas an investment of £40,000 would be needed to keep water out for a prolonged period of time.”