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Insurers urged to treat flood-hit businesses fairly

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There are concerns that a rising cost in premiums will hit small businesses hard and that they will face an uphill struggle in trying to claim.

John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “We will be watching insurers vigilantly to ensure that they pay out to affected businesses swiftly and fairly.”

“The task ahead is to ensure that businesses can recover once weather conditions start to improve. That means an SME insurance market that provides robust cover for businesses without sky-high premiums and excesses, investment to ensure resilience on our over-stretched transport networks, and on-going support for companies that need to restructure their finances and tax payments.”

In the future flood-prone households will be covered in a new government scheme, Flood Re, which will ensure premiums remain affordable, and there are calls for this to be extended to businesses.

According to The Association of British Insurers, £14m has been paid out in emergency money to both businesses and households since December 23. But the total long-term cost of the floods for insurers is expected to reach as much as £1bn.

The government yesterday announced a £10m fund to help flood-hit companies.

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