Insurers must drag flood victims from the mire

Thousands of properties have been flooded in the UK, with the cost to insurance companies expected to amount to more than £1bn.

Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice chief executive, said: "Insurers must not drag their feet in helping people recover from flooding.

“People whose homes and possessions have been wrecked by storms simply can't afford for insurers to add to their pile of problems with unfair or slow service.”

With the storms of 2007 people were still going to the local Citizens Advice Bureaux a year after the initial floods, as their insurance providers let them down.

Guy added: "Problems from flooding remain long after floodwater has receded. We saw first-hand after the floods of 2007 that some of the most damaging effects of storms often only emerge after television cameras have left flooded areas.

“It is not just insurance claims that people will struggle with. A number of our clients were unable to get to work because their employer had been flooded, resulting in lost wages and significant financial stress. Some businesses can come unstuck because deliveries can't be made to flood-hit areas.”

Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.

She said: “Our army of volunteer advisers are on the frontline helping communities get back on their feet after these storms.

“We will continue to work with hard-hit residents as they come to terms with the dreadful impact of this appalling weather."