Issued at 9.30am on Friday 12 February 2016
Ten weeks on
The winter storm season started on 12 November with Abigail, closely followed by Barney and then Clodagh, all of which impacted on Scotland, Wales and the north of England.
Our first Client Bulletin was issued on Monday, 7 December, reporting on the aftermath of Storm Desmond. When Desmond hit, many rivers were already swollen, particularly in Cumbria, where they saw the heaviest of the rainfall. Carlisle, Keswick and Cockermouth flooded initially, followed by Appleby, Kendal and Glenridding, when local rivers burst their banks.
On 22 December, storm Eva brought more violent storm winds and heavy downpours, causing some properties to flood for the third time in a month. York, Leeds, Tadcaster, Hebden Bridge, Shipley and other areas in the Northwest were also badly flooded. Storm Frank followed quickly afterwards, wreaking havoc in Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England.
Gertrude, Henry and Imogen
It was drier in early January and then temperatures dropped, creating a fresh challenge for customers living in temporary accommodation. On the 26th of the month the remnants of Jonas started to blow through and we braced ourselves for storms Gertrude, followed by Henry and Imogen.
Earlier this week, the ninth storm of the winter, Imogen, provided some dramatic photo opportunities but created little in the way of property damage. Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank have been the most significant of the nine storms, in terms of property damage, and with every subsequent weather warning, we’ve been prepared and ready to respond. However, so far, any additional storm and flood damage claims have been relatively low and workloads are currently manageable.
Flood Claim Customers – keeping in touch
It’s been ten weeks since Storm Desmond – eight since Eva and seven since Frank – and we’re acutely aware that many flood-affected customers are now keen to see the reinstatement process begin on their homes.
Our flood zone teams are on hand in each area to provide customers with clarity on what will happen next, and offer reassurance that someone is there to help if there’s a problem. We’ve got a thorough mechanism for double-checking that regular communications, support and updates are provided to every customer, which is vital to maintaining their trust.
We’re committed to driving every claim forward as swiftly as possible, and in providing a great outcome for every customer.
Government Grants & DEFRA
We understand that the government is concerned about the low uptake on the “Repair and Renew” grant scheme. This provides financial support, for households and businesses, towards building flood resilience and resistance into the repair process, and appears to be a helpful payment.
This week, along with government, business, insurer and broker representatives, we attended a meeting, organised by DEFRA, which focused on how individuals can be encouraged to take better advantage of this scheme, and to what degree loss adjusters and insurers can help. We’re attending a further DEFRA workshop on 23 February, when potential solutions will be put forward and discussed.
The Environment Agency still has 31 flood warnings and 81 flood alerts in place across England and Wales. There are currently no flood alerts or warnings in Scotland.
The weekend ahead looks breezy across much of the UK, with rain affecting southern England and the northeast. Currently, there are no weather warnings in place.