The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has put the bill for Gloucestershire’s floods at £1.5bn, and said that the Government promise to increase spending on floods by £230m by 2010 was not enough.

More than 200 roads were affected by the July floods, as well as thousands of homes. The total costs may well be more than £1.5bn, as some people have only just got back into their homes and are just beginning to assess the full damage.

‘Let’s be clear about this,’ said ABI spokesman Malcolm Tarling in a statement. ‘There’s no automatic assumption that premiums will rise, some companies may increase their premiums, some will absorb the cost.’