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U.K. flooding expected to expose coverage gaps

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The effect on large companies of recent flooding in northern England highlights the need for “fit for purpose” insurance coverage and effective crisis planning, said the London-based U.K. risk managers association Airmic Ltd.

Storms Eva, Desmond and Frank have caused widespread flooding across the United Kingdom and have hit some large cities such as Leeds and York, Airmic noted.

“It is at times like this that you find out if your insurance and your contingency planning are fit for purpose. Sadly, we know from experience that some policyholders will be disappointed when they come to make their claims and that many will not be fully covered,” said Airmic CEO John Hurrell, in a statement.

“We also know that the insurance industry and their reinsurers will rise to the challenge and do a great job, as they always do when there have been disasters. We would urge them to be flexible and pragmatic, and to look favorably on customers who have bought cover in good faith — especially small businesses that might not have absorbed all the implications of the small print,” he said.

Mr. Hurrell said that an Airmic guide, published last year in association with the London-based Institute of Directors, is intended to help buyers make sure their insurance coverage is appropriate.