Over 50% of residents affected by the Birmingham tornado are uninsured.

Local politicians are calling for government aid and Labour MP Roger Godsiff has written to deputy prime minister John Prescott asking for assistance for people with no home insurance or relevant personal cover.

The hardest hit areas were Small Heath, Sparkbrook and Moseley.

According to the Institute of Asian Businesses, half of Sparkbrook residents could be without home insurance. Many traders may also have insufficient cover.

Meanwhile, the £40m insurance bill arising from claims looks conservative, according to loss adjusters.

Kevin Wood, group chief technical officer for Ashworth Mairs, said the figure is quoted for property claims - but does not take into account motor and business interruption. He adds many claims are still arriving, not least because a number of people had their policy documentation blown away.

Crawford UK catastrophe manager Gareth Bowers said most of those with insurance would get paid and that insurers would not try to impose the "Act of God" exclusion. "Insurers will pay under the storm damage section."