In the News: Government urges insurers to deal with flood claims quickly

The government has urged the insurance industry to react quickly to flood claims across the UK, the BBC reports. Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesperson said that insurers should do their best to help flood-hit victims by ensuring the "speedy" processing of claims and providing dehumidifiers to help dry out affected properties.

At present, over 5,000 properties in the UK are flooded, while at least 800 people are still without power in southern England and parts of Wales. Sixteen severe flood warnings are currently in place for southern England, as well as 300 less serious flood warnings and alerts in other parts of the UK.

While the prime minister has already unveiled a £10m fund to help businesses recover from floods, his spokesman has confirmed that Mr Cameron will be holding another meeting about the floods this week with insurance industry representatives.

This news follows reports that the overall cost of clearing up after this winter's floods could reach £1 billion if rain continues to fall on water-logged ground, including £500 million for the insurance industry. If these figures turn out to be accurate, it will still amount to much less than the estimated £3 billion the insurance industry is thought to have paid out after the floods in 2007.

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