INSURANCE POST: Insurance industry better equipped to deal with Storm Callum claims after ‘significant effort’ to implement resilient repairs

15th October 2018
This article has been reproduced

As the clean up operation starts following Storm Callum this weekend experts have said the insurance industry is better equipped to deal with flood claims than previous years due resilient repairs and better communication.

Many parts of the country were battered by heavy rains and strong winds as Storm Callum hit the UK on Friday and through the weekend. Rivers burst their banks, landslides were reported, many homes faced the loss of power and at least three people are known to have died.

Colin Ganson, director at QuestGates, said: “The one positive to take is that flood claims are now dealt with differently to previous years as the industry has made significant effort to implement resilient repairs after the more recent surge events and has more joined up communication processes in place, which have resulted in greater focus on the customer as well as the cost.”

This weekend’s flooding was largely caused by surface water and rivers breaking their banks. “While there are a couple of areas where rivers have burst, most of the flooding appears to have been caused by water collecting in dips in the road and then coming into homes and commercial premises,” Ganson said.

Carmarthenshire, the southwest of Wales is one of the worst-hit areas and news outlets are reporting the country to be facing the worst flooding in 30 years. However, the extent of the damage is still unknown. Ganson said: “It’s too soon to really know the full extent of the surge caused by Storm Callum, however, the main areas affected are in the west of the UK and the south and west of Wales. There has been some storm damage in Scotland, but this does not appear extensive.”

The agriculture sector looks to be one of the most severely affected. Clive Nicholls president UK & Ireland of Crawford & Company said: ”The majority of the claims we are currently handling are domestic property or agriculture-related resulting from rivers breaking their banks. We expect the number of claims to rise over the coming days as those people affected begin to instruct their insurers.”

An Association of British Insurers spokesperson said: “This does not appear to be a significant insurance incident. A lot of the areas affected seem to be fairly sparsely, populated and rural areas.”

A spokesman for Sedgwick confirmed very few domestic claims had come in yet but that it was monitoring the situation closely.

Experts have said it’s too early to confirm whether flood defences were in place and whether they were breached. “Unfortunately even with the best defences, it is nigh on impossible to make properties completely flood-proof given that we’re talking about a force of nature. It’s often more about mitigating the extent of the damage with resilient repairs” added Ganson.

Natural Resources Wales has issued a statement on the current conditions across Wales stating situations are improving and river levels are starting to drop. Further flood warnings are in place and the situation is being monitored.