UK insurance warning as rain continues
Towns and villages in Britain were dealt a further blow today as more rain battered the country and 200,000 householders were warned they could lose their home insurance policies.
Three people have died since the latest bout of severe weather struck, forcing hundreds of people to flee water-logged properties.
Some 530 flood warnings and alerts remained in place today as insurance chiefs hit out at the Government, claiming negotiations over future cover have hit an impasse and are now at “crisis point”.
The two sides are locked in talks relating to the replacement of a “safety net” deal to ensure those in flood risk areas can continue to afford their policies which are set to expire next year.
Insurers have called on the government to provide a temporary overdraft facility to pay claims for 200,000 high-risk households in the event of serious flooding such as that seen in 2007.
Nick Starling, director of general insurance at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), accused ministers of rejecting its proposals.
“We want a solution even more now after the difficult events of the weekend,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
The Environment Agency said a total of 901 properties have been flooded during the latest period of bad weather.
It has issued flood warning messages to 70,684 households in the past few days.
Forecasters warned of more trouble ahead as a band of persistent rain moves across northern England and North Wales, with County Durham, Teesside, North Yorkshire and the Conwy area of North Wales likely to be worst affected.
Heavy showers are also forecast in Wiltshire, Dorset and central southern England, while gale-force winds are likely to hit the northern coast of Cornwall, the north-east coast of England and parts of Wales.
British prime minister David Cameron has promised his government would “ensure everything is being done to help”.
David Cameron’s comments came as thousands of motorists across the country were being rescued from the roads.
There were devastating scenes in Devon where a 21-year-old woman was killed and two people were seriously injured in Western Way, Exeter, when they were crushed by a tree as wild winds whipped southern England.
It followed the death of a man on Thursday, who was killed when his car became wedged under a bridge near a ford in Rectory Fields, Chew Stoke, Somerset.
A 50-year-old man also died after falling into a canal in Watford on Saturday.
Kevin Wilkinson was walking with friends along a towpath near Wiggenhall Road in Watford shortly after 4am when it is believed he fell in.
Cambridgeshire Police said the death of a 70-year-old man whose car plunged into a river near Earith, on Saturday night, was not weather related.
Amber alerts have been issued for the north-east of England and North Wales.