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Insured losses from December U.K. storms could reach $1.89 billion

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Insured losses from the string of floods that hit the United Kingdom in December likely will reach about £1.3 billion ($1.89 billion), the London-based Association of British Insurers announced Monday.

So far insurers in the United Kingdom have made emergency payments of about £24 million ($34.8 million) to policyholders affected by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank, the ABI said in a statement.

The ABI said that £15 million ($21.8 million) of those payments had been made to businesses.

Of the roughly 15,000 claims received so far, about 5,000 are from commercial policyholders, the ABI said.

“The impact of the flooding will be felt for many months to come in affected areas,” James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, said in the statement.

“Cleaning, drying out and repairing flood-damaged properties is a major undertaking. Insurers and their experts will be there for the long haul to help communities rebuild and repair,” he added.