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Cumbria floods cost insurers £200m

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Flooding in Cumbria has cost insurers more than £200 million, the Association of British Insurers has found.

November's floods - that were caused after the region experienced Britain's highest recorded rainfall level of 314mm in 24 hours - are estimated to have cost £206 million, around 60% of which was due to damage to businesses.

The group said insurers made interim payments ranging from £250 to £400,000 to homeowners and firms, having handled around 36,000 flood and storm damage claims.

Temporary accommodation for almost 470 policyholders whose homes or enterprises were rendered uninhabitable was also arranged by the insurers.

However, the cost of flooding was well below the £3 billion paid out by insurers during the 2007 floods that affected large parts of Yorkshire, the Midlands and the West Country.

The Carlisle floods in 2005 caused around £250 million worth of damage.

Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance and health, said: "This was a traumatic and tragic event for those affected, but not for insurers, who expect to deal with extreme weather incidents like this during the year."

© Press Association 2009