UK floods continue as more rain hits

LONDON - The prime minister is urging the insurance industry to deal with flood claims as quickly as possible.

David Cameron is also calling on insurers to offer more help to dry out homes. More than 5,000 homes and businesses are estimated to have been flooded since the start of December.

No 10 will hold a meeting with industry representatives on Tuesday.

The Met Office has issued a yellow "be aware" warning for rain in south-west England.

Sixteen severe flood warnings are also in place in southern England.

Cornwall, parts of Somerset and Devon have already seen moderate bursts of rain on Monday, while around 800 people are still without power across southern England and parts of Wales after cuts due to storms last week.

The prime minister, who is visiting Upton upon Severn in Worcestershire to meet residents who have been hit by floods, will chair another meeting of the Cobra emergency committee later.

He said while the government had increased spending on flood defences in the past, there were still lessons to be learned from the latest floods.

"There are always lessons to learn," Mr Cameron said.

"Always important after every flood to ask what other things could be done, what other things should be done, what other schemes should be looked at and we will make sure we learn all the lessons."

Meanwhile, members of his cabinet office will chair Tuesday's meeting with insurance representatives.

Mr Cameron's official spokesman said the insurance industry should do its best to maximise help to flood-hit victims, including the "speedy" processing of claims and the provision of dehumidifiers to dry properties out.

He declined to say whether the sector should be offering "premium holidays" to those who have been flooded.

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