Property Inspections: Statistical Analysis
Data Design’s first foray into statistical analysis of water damaged property came in 2016. It’s generally recognised that following the 2015 York floods, the independently collated evaluation of data by Data Design revolutionised established procedure within the UK insurance industry.
Across Northern England this winter proved to be a washout with numerous severe storms battering the region. York was unfortunately one of the worst affected areas by the flooding with images of water-damaged furniture, Christmas decorations and carpets on every national news channel and newspaper. Now that the water has receded and the clean-up operation is underway, the economic cost of the floods to the city and the surrounding area is starting to be assessed.
Householders face a difficult time waiting for insurance payouts to fix their flood damaged homes. The final bill for the approximately 600 flooded homes along the Ouse and the Foss will not be known until the loss adjusters have calculated the cost of the damage to households. Sadly, due to the speed at which the water rose, many residents could not defend their homes with sandbags, with many in the Huntington Road area being evacuated soon after the Foss barrier was raised.
One thing that is likely to happen is an increase in home insurance premiums both in York and nationally. Given the failure of the flood barrier on the River Foss, it is likely that home insurance premiums will rise in the areas around the River Foss, the worst affected by December’s flooding. This is because the risk to insurers has increased, with this additional cost likely to be passed onto householders. Nationally, the Association of British Insurers estimate that this winter’s storms are likely to cost upwards of £1.3 billion.
For businesses along roads such as Walmgate and Fossgate, many of whom are small retailers, the flooding will have damaged thousands of pounds worth of stock and the cost of replacing this will prove an expensive headache for retailers. This is coupled with the fact that most businesses which were flooded are small, independent retailers who may not necessarily have the capital available to replace the lost stock. York, as a commercial and tourist destination, is also highly dependent on footfall from visitors to the city. Footfall declined significantly, with retailers missing out on the Boxing Day rush, but it is slowly increasing again.
One of the biggest issues for retailers according to the York Retail Forum, has been the negativity following the flooding. Many businesses have raised concerns that York Council and the media have made the situation for York’s retailers more difficult by telling people to stay away from the city centre. Frank Wood, Chairman of the York Retail Forum, was recently quoted in The Press as saying that “It wasn’t helped by the police and the council asking people to stay away” and this negativity has led to calls from the retail and hospitality sector that people spread the word that York is still open for business. Many of the flooded businesses on Fossgate and Walmgate have reopened and are trading again.
Below Left: Weybridge-Trade, suppliers to both The Gatehouse Restoration Project 2017 in Canterbury and Hall Place Cellar Project 2018 in Bexley.