Insurance claims in relation to the recent storms and floods in the UK have now reached GBP1.5 billion, according to the Association of British Insurers, which had previously estimated that claims would only reach GBP1 billion.

The insurance association has estimated that around 27,500 homes and 7,000 businesses have been affected by the floods. The increased number of business claims, coupled with clearer information about the amount of damage to the homes, led the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to revise its previous cost estimate to around GBP1.5 billion.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s director general, said: Insurers continue to work flat-out to help customers in these difficult times. Families, elderly customers, those with health difficulties and getting businesses back to work are our priority. And we will be talking to our customers about how we can help them avoid the trauma of a similar event in future, for example through using more flood-proof building techniques.

Clean-up operations are already underway according to ABI, and interim payments are being made to businesses. However, UK banking group Abbey has revealed that 5,000 properties hit by the floods have no contents insurance.

Abbey revealed that recent government reports suggested that the number of properties affected by the recent flooding across the UK could be over 20,000, while research from Abbey Home Insurance indicates that as many as one in four or 5,000 of these properties could be uninsured.