Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Saturday, 23 January 2010

Cumbria Flood damage claims exceed 200m

Aftermath of Cockermouth flooding
Cockermouth was one of the worst-hit areas

Insurance payouts for damage caused by Cumbria's November floods have reached more than £200m.

Interim payments ranging from £250 to £400,000 have been claimed by homeowners and firms, said the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

About 60% of the £206m was paid out to businesses.

Insurers also arranged temporary accommodation for 470 policyholders whose homes or work premises had become uninhabitable.

The county suffered widespread flooding after unprecedented rainfall.

Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance and health, said: "Insurers are playing a critical role in getting Cumbria back on its feet following the devastating flooding.

"It can take months for badly flood-damaged properties to fully dry out, which is why insurers are paying for temporary accommodation or alternative business premises for those most badly affected.

"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."

More than 2,000 homes and business properties were flooded and six bridges collapsed, with major damage to the area's infrastructure.

Government ministers have pledged a £3.7m aid package to help rebuild affected communities.

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