From claims reported by noon on Monday 28 December ICMIF member and leading UK rural insurer, NFU Mutual, estimates that the weekend’s devastating floods centred on northern England will lead to claims costing at least GBP 5m - 10m. The figure may rise further as more bad weather is expected throughout the remainder of the week and the number of reported flood claims is likely to increase as people who were forced to leave their homes due to flood water start to return.
NFU Mutual, which insures over 75% of UK farmers and thousands of rural homes and businesses, has launched its emergency claims plan to speed help to its policyholders and was already dealing with over 100 flood claims as of Monday 28 December.
Matthew Scott, chief claims manager at NFU Mutual, commented: “Based on what we are hearing from our network of offices across the UK, the flooding across many parts of northern England and north west Wales could be the worst for several years. As a result of this, we have activated our emergency plan and our staff and agents are working hard over the Christmas period to support their local communities.
“Having a local presence means we’ve been able to react quickly and provide immediate assistance to families and businesses in all of the areas worst affected by Storm Eva.
“This is a particularly cruel weekend for anyone to be affected by a flood and our first priority is to help get our policyholders and their families back into their homes and workplaces as quickly as possible. We have teams of loss adjusters ready to assess the damage and arrange repairs as soon as the floodwaters have subsided.
“Our priority is to make contact with all seriously-affected homeowners and businesses. We are making emergency payments of £500 – or more if necessary - and arranging emergency accommodation for people who are unable to stay in their homes.
“Our branch offices are supported by dedicated national and regional claims teams who are utterly focussed on helping our members during what is clearly a very difficult time.”
In other parts of the world ICMIF member organizations are also helping their member/policyholders whose homes and businesses are badly affected by floods. Argentina, like many other Latin American countries has been badly hit by flooding. ICMIF member Rio Uruguay Seguros has sent teams of people to visit policyholders in the affected areas and they are providing those in need with bottled water, long-life milk and other urgently needed supplies. In some neighbourhoods badly hit by the flooding Rio Uruguay Seguros has also provided chemical toilets for the local communities.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rio Uruguay Seguros, Juan Carlos Lucio Godoy, visited some of the areas affected by the floods in order to see how policyholders were being affected and to determine what his organization could do to help.
Garments have also been donated for those people who have had to leave their homes and these are being distributed by the Rio Uruguay Seguros team.
Juan Carlos Lucio Godoy said: “Once more we are proud to be a local company working in solidarity with our members. It is important for us to play a role in helping those affected by the floods and in working to achieve sustainability in our members’ communities”.