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Storms result in hefty bill for insurance firm

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

STORMY: Waves crash over a sea wall in Ilfracombe on January 4.

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THE recent storms resulted in £6.5 million worth of insurance claims for one firm.

That was the figure facing NFU Mutual, the insurance company which covers three-quarters of the rural properties in the South West.

Winds and rain ripped metal sheeting, slates and tiles off roofs in a damaging sequence of squalls through December and into January.

NFU Mutual spokesman Tim Price said: "We can't remember a month with such a succession of storms.

"The majority of damage has been from the wind rather than floods, a bit different from urban insurers.

"Farms and rural properties are often up on the hills where they are at less of a risk from floods.

"The majority of claims are for a few tiles off or a few sheets torn off, causing water leaks, and also from trees brought down on to buildings and on to cars.

"A few people have been caught on flooded roads.

"Our priority is to help people if they can't live in their houses to find alternative accommodation and then to start drying the place which can take six months to a year."

The company expects to have to find more than £40 million to cover claims nationwide.

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