By Daniel Hunter

Over 1,300 customers a day were helped by insurers to recover from flood and storm damage in 2012 according to figures released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

During 2012, the wettest recorded year in England and Wales and second wettest in the UK, insurers handled 486,000 claims for flood and storm damage from homeowners, businesses and motorists — 1,330 each day. The cost of these claims is £1.19 billion, the highest annual figure since the £3 billion paid in 2007.

The average claim payout for flood damaged properties (domestic and commercial) was £18,200 and, in respect of storm damage, £1,300.

Of the overall figure, insurers:

• Dealt with 411,000 claims for flood and storm damaged homes, paying out £690 million to repair damage and replace ruined possessions.

• Handled 47,000 business property claims following flood and storm damage, paying out £373 million. In addition, insurers paid out £40 million in business interruption payments to help firms continue trading while their premises were being repaired.

• Dealt with 27,000 claims for flood and storm damaged vehicles, paying out £84 million to motor insurance customers.

“2012 may have been a record-breaking wet one, but it was business as usual for insurers, who helped thousands of customers recover from the trauma of flooding. Insurers expect bad weather to strike anytime, anywhere and last year highlighted the vital role insurance plays in helping communities recover from our increasingly volatile weather,” Nick Starling, ABI’s Director of General Insurance, said.

“Flooding is greatest natural threat facing the UK and the risk is rising so political consensus and commitment on investment in flood defences, sensible planning decisions and working with the insurance industry is essential”.

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