A torrential downpour of rain has led to a series of floods across Yorkshire and the Midlands that’s put serious financial strain on British residents who lack adequate insurance coverage. The inclement weather in question has cost untold millions in overall damage, and insurance providers are already expecting to pay well over £110m by the end of the recovery period.
Here’s an exploration of how floods are exacerbating a British insurance crisis, how many homes have been hit thus far, and how insurance companies and individuals alike are reacting to the fiasco.
Over 4,000 flood claims thus far
According to the Association of British Insurers, over 4,000 flood claims have been received thus far following the torrential downpour of rain that flooded many areas in Northern England in early November. About 2,250 claims relating to homes and businesses have been received thus far, with an additional 1,788 claims regarding damaged vehicles having come in, too. Hundreds of residents were forced to flee from the rising tides, as flood waters not only damage property but also bring with them disease, dangerous debris, and the threat of drowning for individuals who lack quick mobility.
Re-housing in temporary accommodations is one of the first priorities in such instances as these, as those who have lost their homes and many of their personal belongings are in desperate need of short-term financing that enables them to find a safe and dry place to stay as they prepare to recover. Reporting from the BBC illustrates that residents in Doncaster have been having particular difficulty filing their claims and receiving compensation, as the system is waterlogged with complaints and insurers aren’t always capable of quickly sending out assessors to determine the damages.
The recent flooding has led to an uptick in the usage of services like informeo and other platforms that educate individuals about insurance. While many citizens understand the basics of the insurance industry and the importance of gaining coverage, relatively few have lived-experience dealing with a crisis that forces them from their residence and potentially destroys most of their property. Such services are likely to become more common in the future as inclement weather conditions force more people to temporarily or permanently abandon their homes and businesses.
Pensioners are hard hit
Few groups are struggling more than pensioners, which have seen their insurance rates skyrocket over the past few years due to growing flood concerns. One 76 year old pensioner and her husband saw insurance premiums rise by a whopping 900 percent, for instance, and Barclay’s Insurance has made it clear that increased flood risks are the major driver of the increases. With a lack of financial flexibility and youthful vigor, these pensioners are likely to continue bearing the brunt of the insurance increases and physical hardship driven by more common floods.
Future flood claims will be harder to assess and respond to if the existing crisis isn’t neatly resolved sooner rather than later. Until then, residents across the UK will want to inform themselves about their insurance coverage and pray for sunshine instead of rain.