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Who's paying for extreme weather?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 01:34

Insurers are facing some of the costliest British floods on record. Accountants have put the estimated bill at at least 1.5 billion pounds ($2.22 billion). And, as Sonia Legg reports, Britain isn't the only country dealing with floods.

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York was founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. It's fought off many enemies but not this invasion. Newly improved flood defences failed - leaving much of the British city under water. IG's Chris Beauchamp. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKET ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "In recent years it has been rinse and repeat where flooding is concerned - defences are improved and then they are shown to be inadequate and so I think we need a radical rethink of how the UK approaches its flood defences." The worst floods since 2007 have left insurers with an estimated bill of 1.5 billion pounds. Around 6,700 properties have been damaged. And accountancy firm KPMG estimates the total economic impact will be more than 5 billion pounds. A typical flood claim tends to be around 30,000 pounds though it can often reach 130,000 pounds. And all that was before the latest storms hit on Wednesday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKET ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "The government is committed to spending more so we have that impetus there and it will make life a little more difficult for the Chancellor to get his sums to balance with a big mountain to climb on deficit reduction." Britain isn't alone - floods have hit Missouri in the United States and parts of Latin America. And it's those emerging markets where extreme weather can really impact growth, by damaging vital agriculture. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKET ANALYST, CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "Countries around the world continue to struggle with this so I think we can expect public spending on this as a whole to rise over the course of the next five or six years." Even the Pope is sympathetic, asking a congregation at the Vatican to pray for those caught up in the flooding.

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Who's paying for extreme weather?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 01:34