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‘Natural disaster’ flood insurance bill reaches €200m

The insurance bill for the flooding of January this year could be as high as €200 million, with insurance companies now able to pay out for “natural disaster” claims, according to la Fédération Française de l’Assurance (FFA).

Exceptionally-high levels of rainfall, on already-saturated land, saw flooding and riverbanks breaking across the Seine, Marne, Yonne, Rhône and Saône rivers, including across Paris and numerous other regions, causing hundreds of people to be evacuated and many thousands more to be left without electricity or drinking water.

Now, the FFA has estimated the insurance bill to be between €150 million - €200 million, but said that many policies would be able to pay out quickly.

It also underlined that it would accept insurance claims outside of the usual 10-day stipulated period for any claims relating to the floods, after the government issued a decree to this effect, but urged anyone still needing to make a claim to do so as quickly as possible.

This week, the government announced that the incident had been officially recognised as a “natural disaster” in around 275 communes, with another 156 communes still waiting to be processed ahead of the next meeting on March 6.

“Acknowledgement of the state of ‘natural disaster’ will enable policyholders who have taken out damage insurance for their property (accommodation, vehicle, etc.) to be compensated for the consequences of flooding,” confirmed the FFA in a statement.

FFA staff have also been stationed at Mairies in the affected regions, to help with the ongoing crisis centres and to make sure that anyone affected has adequate information should they need it.

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