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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Insurers Face Record Storm Costs Created by Flooding

LONDON -- British insurers including Aviva and RBS Group face record storm costs of at least $4 billion this year after torrential rain flooded properties in England and Wales.

"We don't know precisely what the cost will be as we are still assessing the devastation," Association of British Insurers spokeswoman Kelly Ostler said Sunday. "It is more than likely the total bill could be 2 billion pounds." The ABI represents about 90 percent of insurance business in Great Britain

Insurers in Great Britain face paying "hundreds of millions" of pounds after record rains burst river banks and blocked rails and roads in central England and Wales over the weekend, the ABI said in a statement. The claims are in addition to flood costs from record rains last month at about ?1.5 billion ($3 billion) by the ABI.

Insurers will have to increase premiums to maintain profitability and may restrict the areas they cover should unseasonably bad weather become more common, analysts say.

Rains reached record levels yesterday in Central England and Oxfordshire, according to Great Britain's Met office, with people being airlifted from their homes and moved to temporary accommodation while they wait for the storm to dissipate.

The U.K. Environmental Agency currently has 63 flood warnings, seven of which are categorized as "severe," spokesman Daniel Wilkinson said.

Though rains have lightened to showers today, rivers "are continuing to rise in the Midlands" where the agency has six "severe" flood warnings.

Last month's floods were the wettest on record for June.