Neil Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales, is urging people to make sure that have plans in place to keep themselves, and their properties, safe if they are affected by floods this winter.
The Association of British Insurers is reassuring customers, living and working in flood risk areas that they will be ready to respond to any flooding which takes place during the festive period.
Mr Hamilton said: “It is good to see that insurance companies are ready and waiting to help customers who could face flood damage.
“I can clearly remember the heart breaking scenes when the storms struck in December 2015, and there was severe flooding across the country.
“Although we have seen nothing like that devastation up until now, it is still important that householders and businesses know how to recover and what actions they should take if they are affected by floods this winter.”
It is two years since storms Desmond, Eva and Frank struck in quick succession throughout December 2015 and insurers spent £1.3 billion repairing and replacing customers’ flooded homes, businesses, vehicles and belongings damaged by the three storms.
With 1 in 6 properties in England and Wales being at risk of flooding, and 1 in 22 homes in Scotland, it remains crucial that people monitor weather warnings and flood advice throughout the Christmas period and ensure they have plans in place for how they can keep themselves and their properties safe if a flood is expected.
Insurers’ own preparations are reviewed after every severe incident. The industry’s flood response plans include:
• Around 2,750 staff available to handle calls about claims, with emergency phonelines available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
• Another 2,250 staff available to send in on the ground to support customers, assess damage and initiate repairs.
• Tens of thousands of drying machines and other vital equipment on standby to be sent to affected areas and start the work of drying out premises as quickly as possible.
•Contracts with hotels and letting agents to ensure emergency accommodation can be provided at short notice, ahead of more long-term alternative accommodation being found where needed.
• Millions of pounds ready for emergency payments to keep businesses going in the first few weeks after a flood and to ensure families affected have immediate access to funds for essentials such as clothes and food.
Laura Hughes, Senior Policy Adviser for property insurance at the ABI, said:
“Sadly the weather cannot be relied upon to respect festive traditions. As hundreds of people found out over the festive period in 2015, severe flooding can happen at any time of year and if it happens during the holidays, empty homes and businesses can be left even more vulnerable to damage.
“Insurers have thousands of staff ready to respond to floods whenever they happen, 365 days a year.”
For more information go to:-
Responding to Major Floods – sets out the steps that a homeowner should take immediately after being flooded – from minimising water damage to contacting their insurer. Guide to resistant and resilient repair after a flood – once the initial emergency response has taken place, it’s important to think about how to prevent damage in the future. When repairs are already taking place, it’s often helpful to think about how resistance measures could be accommodated.