Association of British Insurers explains to ministers its action plan for people in affected areas

The government has met representatives of the insurance industry to discuss its response to the Cumbrian floods.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) told local government minister Rosie Winterton, and environment minister Huw Irranca Davies that they had produced an action plan for people living in the areas and affected by the deluge.

These include:

  • giving advice through mobile support units;
  • helping to organise alternative accommodation for householders unable to return home;
  • insurance loss adjustors visiting properties to start processing claims; and
  • explaining exactly how long the clean up and repair process can take building on previous flood experiences.

Winterton, the minister co-ordinating the government’s flood recovery programme, said the meeting was constructive.

The ABI said told ministers that most people had contacted their insurers and all the main insurance companies now have mobile units in the areas giving advice to whoever visits them whether or not a householder has a policy with them.

“Visits from insurance losses adjustors are also now underway and will continue over the coming weeks. These visits are a vital first step in helping those affected assess the damage and agree a plan of action,” Winterton added.

“They also discussed the provision of alternative accommodation for householders unable to return to their homes and insurance companies are working with those affected to provide appropriate accommodation.

She said there would be many more meetings over the coming weeks.

Nick Starling, director of general insurance, ABI said: "Insurers have been working round the clock to help those affected. But the really hard work begins once flood waters have receded and the damage to homes and businesses is assessed. Properties will take a long time to dry out fully and it could be many months before houses and businesses are restored to the condition they were in before the flooding.

"The good news is that insurers are on hand to react quickly and start the drying out and restoration process as soon as possible, and to help customers cope with life while their homes are drying out and being repaired by providing advice, support and alternative accommodation where needed”