Storm Frank batters northern Britain, experts see costs rising

Updated: 2015-12-31 10:56


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Storm Frank batters northern Britain, experts see costs rising

Emergency response workers stand at the scene of a collapsed bridge over the River Wharfe in the market town of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, Britain, on Dec 30, 2015. A section of the bridge, which dates back to the 1700s, collapsed on Tuesday as heavy rain continues to hit the north of England. [Photo/Agencies]

In Northern Ireland and the Republic, roads flooded, flights were delayed and thousands went without power while in Scotland, local media reports said people were being evacuated from their homes in the northeast town of Ballater by dingy.

PwC on Wednesday raised its estimate of insured losses from two earlier storms - Desmond and Eva - to between 900 million pounds and 1.2 billion pounds from an earlier range of 700 million to 1 billion pounds.

"The storms this time have generated a far greater proportion of non-insured losses compared to the total economic damage," said Mohammad Khan, general insurance leader at PwC, in a statement.

"Many of the smaller and family-run businesses that have been impacted by Eva and Desmond will not have commercial insurance in place due to the impact of the recession and lower business volumes in recent years."

A government-backed scheme to make flood insurance affordable is due to launch in April. But the scheme, Flood Re, does not cover small businesses.

Consultancy KPMG has put the potential economic losses at more than 5 billion pounds, including 2 billion pounds for flood defences.

($1 = 0.6749 pounds)