loss from the storm Dennis will cost insurance companies £225 million
Flooding and damage left in the wake of Storm Dennis, which swept across the UK on 15 and 16 February, is estimated to cost £225m in insurance claims, taking the total insurance costs from two February storms to £425m.
The severe weather brought heavy rain and strong winds to England and Wales, which led to record high river levels and flooded hundreds of properties.
Insurance analysts at PwC estimate that damage to homes, businesses and cars could be between £175m and £225m.
“There has been far more flood damage from Storm Dennis compared to Storm Ciara – which was mainly wind damage,” said Mohammed Khan, general insurance leader at PwC, and he warned continued rainfall meant there was a risk of further flooding.
Storm Dennis affected huge swathes of Britain, from the Scottish Highlands to the Cornish coast and large parts of Wales and Northern Ireland. It triggered a record-breaking number of Environment Agency flood warnings and alerts in England on Sunday.
The storm is believed to have caused the worst winter floods in recent times, partly because the ground was still saturated following Storm Ciara a week earlier.
Kate Marks of the Environment Agency (EA) said that while Storm Dennis had passed, “we’ll be feeling the impacts for a few more days. There’s a lot more water in the river systems.”
The rivers Wye and Severn will remain especially high into the weekend, after both broke records this week, and flood-hit communities in those areas are experiencing further rain.
West Mercia police said almost 400 properties had been “significantly impacted by the floods” across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. Across the border in Wales, people were evacuated from their homes in Monmouthshire and Neath.
Former coal tips in the Welsh valleys are undergoing emergency inspections amid fears further flooding could set off another Aberfan-style disaster.
Yellow weather warnings for persistent rain remain in place for Wales and north-west England for Thursday, and the north of England on Friday into Saturday.