By: 9 January 2024
Government unveils aid package for flood-hit communities

The UK government has announced financial support for communities affected by the recent severe flooding caused by Storm Henk. The flood recovery framework, deployed in exceptional circumstances, aims to assist eligible areas in England that have experienced significant localised flooding.

The support package includes immediate relief for flooded households, allowing them to apply for up to £500 in cash. Impacted households and businesses  will also receive 100% council tax and business rates relief for a minimum of three months. Small-to-medium sized businesses in affected areas can apply for up to £2,500 through the business recovery grant.

Property owners affected by flooding can access up to £5,000 through the property flood resilience repair grant scheme to make their homes and businesses more resilient to future flooding. Farmers facing uninsurable damage to their land are eligible to apply for grants of up to £25,000 through the farming recovery fund.

Communities secretary Michael Gove and environment secretary Steve Barclay jointly announced these measures.

Gove assured affected individuals and businesses that they are not alone. He stated; “If you’ve been affected by the recent severe flooding, you do not have to deal with it alone – we are providing financial help so you can recover as quickly as possible.”

The announcement highlights the government’s ongoing investment in flood defences. A £5.2 billion investment is underway to enhance the protection of hundreds of thousands of properties.

Government assistance is essential at times of crisis, as insurers are struggling to keep up with rising premiums.

Patrick Hayward, senior consultant and claims lead at Altus Consulting, stated:

“Homeowners will look to claim on their insurance if their property is damaged by Storm Henk. But at the moment, it is very difficult for insurers to absorb any of the impact of damages caused by extreme weather, as they are already grappling with challenging loss ratios, following persistent and sustained cost inflation in property claims.

As a result, extreme weather events such as Storm Henk do inevitably affect insurance premiums, causing them to rise. This is an issue in particular for people who are most likely to be impacted by extreme weather – such as those with properties in coastal areas.

Insurers are making efforts to address this problem, however: the majority are signed up to the Flood Re build back better scheme, under which home insurers fund home repairs which focus specifically on improving future resilience to storms, rather than reinstating the same vulnerabilities and inviting history to repeat itself.”

 

Image: Canva
Emma Cockings
Emma is a content editor for Claims Media.