Storm Christoph could result in significant insurance losses

Posted on 22 January 2021
By Shannon Garner
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Storm Christoph has seen thousands of people evacuated from homes across the North West and damages could result in significant insurance losses.

General insurance leader at PwC, Mohammed Khan, said the losses from the storm will not exceed last year’s Storm Ciara: “It is still very early to say what the impact on the general insurance industry will be but based on the current weather, PWC estimates that the losses from Storm Christoph will be between £80m to £120m.

“This is clearly dependent on what future rainfall occurs but currently would be less than the losses that occurred from Storm Ciara last year.”

People have been urged not to drive through flood water as it is dangerous and to take note of any road closures or flood warnings before travelling until further notice.

Admiral Car Insurance also warned motorists that driving through flood water could invalidate their insurance claims if any damage is caused to their vehicle.

There are currently 358 areas on alert in the United Kingdom with the storm having already affected about 2,000 homes in the areas of Greater Manchester, North Wales and Merseyside.

Boris Johnson stated: “There will be more to come, there will be further rain next week” and has vowed to help Britain prepare for more downpours.

Causing chaos across the region, storm Christoph has left several roads closed, disruption to public transport, car accidents and people stranded due to the rising water levels.

Residents in Maghull were advised to leave their properties by Sefton Council following the amber weather alert and danger to life alert issued by the Environment Agency. Other areas given this severe warning were Kirkby, Huyton, Widnes and Speke.

A local fireman, who wishes to remain anonymous said: “We had another busy night. We have been de-flooding houses in the different areas affected, mainly Maghull, and have had alarms and alerts going off non-stop.”

Cheshire bore the brunt of the storm as different towns were left mainly underwater leaving people stranded.

Residents of a retirement village in Northwich, Cheshire, were rescued by dinghy and taken to hotels nearby. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service also received help from Lancashire Firefighters to rescue others trapped by the floods.

Congleton, another town in Cheshire, was left with many road closures due to high water levels and local resident Joan Deakin thought the situation was being ‘exaggerated’ at first.

She said: “It was more the night before that I was alerted to the problem when a neighbour came round and said that all the roads were flooded. I thought she might be exaggerating because with being inside working all day I hadn’t been out so I hadn’t seen what was going on in the local area.”

“I cycled up to the road and saw that one of the roads was closed and all the other roads around as well were inaccessible because of the floods, so basically we were cut off.”

With a fair amount of farms being flooded, Joan, who used to be a farmer added: “Initially, there is the problem of all this excess water and if the land is used for grazing sheep, youngstock or even horses at this time of year then obviously they’ll have to be brought off the land and your grazing is reduced.

“If you’ve already planted winter barley or any crops, then those crops will be lost and they won’t be there in the future so there will be a loss in revenue.

“I think it’s just the general devastation of the sheer volume of water and then having to wait to see what damage is actually done to the fields.”

Remember to check the Met Office website before any essential travel you plan to make.