Upper Street flooding: Traders still in dark over vital insurance payouts

PUBLISHED: 17:50 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:59 29 March 2017

It's all hands on deck in Camden Passage to get the businesses back up and running

It's all hands on deck in Camden Passage to get the businesses back up and running


Business owners in Angel whose livelihoods were destroyed by the Upper Street flooding in December have no idea when their much-needed insurance claims will be dealt with.

Flooding in Upper Street this morning. Picture: London Fire BrigadeFlooding in Upper Street this morning. Picture: London Fire Brigade

Eight traders in Camden Passage and nearby roads are still unable to open their shops properly and one – Brew Box Bubble Tea – has close for good.

But numerous meetings with Thames Water reps, councillors and loss adjusters have left them none the wiser as to who to contact with problems with their payouts.

Pauline Coakley Webb, who reopened Style Gallery six weeks after the flooding, said there was “anxst” about how the claims were being dealt with.

“None of us know exactly how many people have been affected,” she said. “Some people are doing their own claims, some are using their own insurance companies and everything is then sent in to Thames Water.

The burst main in Upper Street devastated businesses and homes. Picture: Met PoliceThe burst main in Upper Street devastated businesses and homes. Picture: Met Police

“There’s supposed to be a service level agreement as to how quickly they would respond but I’ve certainly had delays.

“Quite a big bone of contention is Thames Water saying no one will be out of pocket. When you’re dealing with insurance a percentage is automatically taken off the claims you put in. No one knows who at Thames Water is taking responsibility for making up the difference.”

The water company’s pledge to pick up the balance is further complicated by the number of antiques dealerships affected, whose stock value is known only by the dealer.

Christine Lovett, CEO of the business improvement district, said: “We are disappointed with the lack of progress made by Thames Water in helping people washed out by the flood get back on their feet. This has affected our whole community and almost four months later, we don’t even have a single named point of contact at Thames Water.”

A Thames Water spokeswoman said everyone had been allocated a point of contact and had numbers for “customer managers” who were in discussions with

She added: “We’re sorry that for some affected business owners and residents it’s taking longer to get back on their feet than it has for others.

“Each insurance claim has to be treated individually as everyone’s needs and circumstances are very different but we’re doing what we can to help.

“We’re in regular contact with two people who are representing the business community and have made suggestions on what we could do to help them further.”

Traders and Devonia Road homeowners were expecting the chance to quiz Thames Water reps tonight in an open forum, but have now been told it will only be a “drop-in” session to discuss matters one-to-one.

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