Insurers count the cost of an early end to summer weather

BRITISH insurers yesterday warned the public to take precautions against flooding as torrential rain threatened to result in hefty payouts.

The summer was marred by wet weather and 2012 is on track to leave insurers with the largest bill for flood damage since 2007.

Sixty-five areas of England are currently on flood alert and the Association of British Insurers said the public should make sure they have insurer’s details close to hands and report damage immediately.

The warning comes at a crucial time for the industry, as it is currently locked in negotiations with the government over a new agreement to provide flood cover for most homes.

The existing deal, which expires in 2013, sees the industry provide affordable cover on a near-universal basis, including to homes that are at high risk of flooding.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, called for action: “There are 200,000 UK homes at serious flood risk, and 2.4m homes at some risk of flooding from rivers or the sea. The majority of them have been able to insure their homes thanks to the agreement, but that ends on 30 June next year.

“There’s little sign yet of a replacement. These families must be wondering whether they will be able to find affordable insurance.”