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18% of fleet operators were affected by floods

Kjell Anderton, a director of the company, said: ‘We received a range of comments from respondents. One fleet operator told us he’d lost more than £80,000, which he blamed on the Government for poorly maintained flood defences.

‘And a self-employed courier said he’d “lost a lot of money” because he couldn’t get to his delivery points.

‘However, for a few businesses it was quite a different story – some actually got busier.’

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, the floods cost small firms more than £830m.

The organisation said a third of small firms in affected areas suffered from reduced demand, while transport disruption hit supplies and led to staff absences at many firms. The average cost to each business in flood-hit areas was £1,531.

Estimates of insured losses varied widely. Credit Suisse analysts said the final bill could reach £1.2bn, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch put the figure at £1.5bn.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.