Winter Floods Increase Canal Rescues by 75%

Heavy winter rains and storms have caused havoc on UK canals & rivers, sinking boats or leaving them high and dry after the waters subside.

The £1.9 billion paid out by insurers to people who suffered flood and storm damage following last year’s wet weather is likely to be the tip of the iceberg, according to Stephanie Horton, Managing Director of River Canal Rescue.

Stephanie says the figure should be higher as the damage and loss to canal and river boats is not included in this figure; it comprises home, business and motor claims.

River Canal Rescue reports it attended 75% more call-outs to emergency situations in the period from October 12 to January 13 and specialist insurers also confirm the bad weather caused an increase in claims.

Stephanie comments: “Last year’s weather caused devastation for those on water as well as land and it’s important their losses are acknowledged.  We helped retrieve 45 sunken, partially submerged or grounded vessels, and in some cases these craft are the owners’ home, business and form of transport. Over half of these were insurance claims.”

Insurers who have not given River Canal Rescue delegated authority to make repairs as part of the claims process spend more on claims settlement due to customers’ having to source repairers themselves and agree quotes.

Stephanie explains: “Insurers who give us delegated authority save a minimum of 25% on their claims costs.  Last year, however, we reduced their bill by 65%.  By allowing us to take ownership of the claim, we can quickly source and make repairs, reduce the total loss amount and speed up the process.  This results in less hassle for the craft owner.”

She concludes: “We’ll never know the true costs incurred as a result of the terrible weather last year, but it is important to prepare for more floods and storms and have support at hand to minimise losses if damage occurs.  Even as we approached British summer time this year, the country faced freezing conditions and more weather warnings, which is unheard of towards the end of March.”

River Canal Rescue issues warnings and reminders for people to check their craft on Facebook and via email alerts to customers. To find out more, visit or phone 01785 785680.

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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