Issued at 16:30 on Tuesday 8 December 2015
We’ve received storm and flood claims from over 83 postcode areas in the UK, illustrating the wide spread damage that’s been caused by Storm Desmond. Cumbria & Northumberland – represent 60% of claims received. Carlisle (CA postcodes) – specifically Warwick Road – is worst affected, where an estimated 3,000 homes have been hit by the floods. Updated claims figures show that the majority are flood damage claims.
Access & Communications Issues
The flood waters have receded and so access in and around Carlisle has improved today. But communications continue to be a problem – both for customers and our adjusters – as thousands of homes and businesses are still without power, and mobile phone reception in the worst affected areas is generally very poor.
However, we have established temporary offices in both Cockermouth and Carlisle – this gives our adjusters a base to work from, with access to landlines and fast Internet connections, which will help to ease the problem significantly.
Helpline – calls yesterday were up 22% on business as usual figures and from 8am this morning, call volumes were up by 55%. We have increased staffing this evening in readiness for further emergency calls from customers in need of our help.
Claims Centres – right up until late last night, large numbers of claims were still coming into our Claims Centres in Glasgow and Cardiff. It’s been a little quieter today, but we’re fully prepared for another influx of claims once customers, particularly in Carlisle, gain access to their homes. Although making contact with some customers has been challenging, we are providing help and support, and arranging visits to all those we’ve managed to reach.
Some lower value storm claims have already been settled and, where appropriate, we will continue to work with customers to progress these claims to an early conclusion – this will help keep outstanding claims numbers to the absolute minimum.
Adjuster Field Force – Our teams of specialist property adjusters are in all the worst affected areas, visiting customers where properties are accessible. We will increase the resources in these teams over the coming days, to meet the technical and individual customer requirements in each of the postcode areas.
Surveying Services & Oriel – We’ve got teams of local surveyors in Cumbria and Northumberland. We have an additional 50 surveyors organised to work in shifts to make sure we have the capacity to service all customers’ claims. Oriel has local contractors on the ground, providing emergency support – making safe, securing buildings, providing temporary power and some initial cleaning. Additional thermo dynamic dryers have also been sourced in readiness for the drying out phase.
More rain – in excess of 32mm in places – is forecast for the North West tomorrow. We will continue to monitor this situation carefully as further rain could impact on progress of the clean-up operation.
Our aerial footage on the flooding in Cumbria can be viewed here.
Please contact: Mark Baird on: TEL: 07880 780150 or EMAIL: [email protected]