UK insurers to brief government on flood recovery

LONDON Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:01pm EST

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LONDON Feb 18 (Reuters) - British ministers will meet representatives of the insurance industry on Tuesday who will brief them on their progress in dealing with victims of winter floods across southern England.

Senior members of the British government will be briefed by executives from insurers representing nearly two-thirds of the market, including Aviva, Direct Line and RSA , Prime Minister David Cameron's office said on Monday.

The head of the Association of British Insurers will also attend the meeting with Cabinet Office ministers Oliver Letwin and Jo Johnson, Flooding Minister Dan Rogerson and Communities Minister Brandon Lewis.

Some areas of England have been under water for more than a month after the wettest January on record, leaving homeowners displaced and crops ruined. Storms have even washed away key railway lines along the coast.

"Insurers have a critical role to play and by working closely together we will continue to ensure that the help and support which people need is available," Rogerson said.

"Insurance industry leaders will also talk ministers through the support they are already offering and commitments they have made."

Analysts at Deloitte have estimated the bill for repairs could reach 1 billion pounds ($1.67 billion) if heavy rains continue into the spring.

According to the British government, flood-hit households have already received 14 million pounds of emergency payments since Dec. 23, while around 24 million pounds has been spent on emergency accommodation.

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