Heavy Rains Cause U.K. Floods

October 13, 2005

Heavy rains overnight caused severe flooding in parts of the U.K. The worst affected areas were in southwestern Scotland, west Wales and Cumbria, where authorities issued numerous flood warnings. Roads have been closed and rail services interrupted as up to 4 feet (1.3 meters) of water invaded hundreds of homes and businesses in the affected areas.

A tornado was reported to have struck briefly near Birmingham, a rare occurrence in Britain. The twister ripped the roofs of fseveral houses and caused other property damage, but no injuries were reported. A tornado struck the in the same area at the end of July.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) issued a bulletin confirming that “flood and storm damage are covered as standard on household and small business insurance policies.” It also advised property owners who have suffered damage of the necessary steps they should take, and urged them to “contact your insurer as soon as possible. Household buildings policies cover damage to the structure; contents policies will cover possessions. Damage to vehicles will be covered under comprehensive motor insurance.”

The ABI also noted, however, that the U.K.’s Environment Agency had recently issued a warning that all persons living in areas subject to flooding should take steps to protect against flood risks. According to the Agency two-fifths of Britain’s homeowners are unaware that they live in flood risk areas.

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