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Government to host insurance industry flood response meeting

Ministers and insurance industry leaders will discuss how the insurance industry is helping people affected by flooding.

Ministers will today (Tuesday 18 February) hold a meeting with insurance industry leaders to discuss how the insurance industry is stepping up to help hard-working people affected by the floods.

Cabinet Office Ministers Oliver Letwin and Jo Johnson, Flooding Minister Dan Rogerson and Communities Minister Brandon Lewis will host the Chief Executive Officers of Aviva, Direct Line Group, Axa, Lloyds Banking Group and Ageas along with the Claims Director of RSA and Underwriting Director of Axa. Together these companies represent 60% of the market. Otto Thoresen from the Association of British Insurers will also attend.

Recovery process

Ministers have requested an operational briefing on the immediate and longer-term practical recovery process to getting people back on their feet after the flooding, and the steps the industry is taking to ensure this process is as quick and simple as possible.

The insurance companies are also expected to advise that there is sufficient capacity of loss adjusters and specialist drying equipment to begin the repair and restoration process as soon as possible after the flood waters recede, and that they will continue to keep this under review.

Flooding Minister Dan Rogerson said:

We all need to pull together to help those areas badly affected by the floods, so they can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Dealing with the aftermath will take time and requires a stepped-up national effort.

Insurers have a critical role to play and by working closely together we will continue to ensure that the help and support which people need is available.

The insurance industry leaders will also talk ministers through the support they are already offering and commitments they have made to ensure hard-working people continue to get the support they need, including:

  • several thousand texts and phone calls sent to homes and businesses warning them a flood was coming; advising them to move to temporary accommodation and automatically sending through emergency payments by direct debit

  • £14 million of emergency payments to households and businesses made since 23 December, with the payments typically between £500 and £3,000 for households, usually paid promptly via bank transfer

  • £24 million spent on immediate alternative accommodation, across hotels, bed & breakfasts, apartments, and rented properties, with an average estimated cost per affected household projected to be £16,500

  • 1,800 extra staff reassigned to customer facing roles since the start of the flooding to ensure customers get the assistance they need

  • over 5,000 loss adjuster visits since 23 December 2013 and over 2,000 loss adjusters ready and waiting for when the waters go down

Today’s meeting will be the first of regular monthly meetings to make sure the industry and government are doing everything necessary to help communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

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