Leading insurer Zurich UK is offering free counselling to customers hit by flooding as it warns of the devastating impact of extreme weather on mental health. Under the initiative, existing policyholders who are forced to make a claim will be entitled to five counselling sessions with a qualified mental health expert. The benefit extends to their immediate families over the age of 18.
David Nichols, Zurich UK’s Chief Claims Officer, said: “The physical impact of extreme weather is impossible to ignore. But there is reason to be concerned about another, ‘hidden’ consequence of the UK’s increasingly destructive weather – the harm it is doing to people’s mental health.
“For some victims, the psychological toll of flooding is just as devastating as the disaster itself – with the effects last long after the waters recede. With five million people in England at risk of flooding, and climate change intensifying the frequency and severity of extreme weather, a mental health crisis is looming. We must ensure that mental health – often the silent casualty of flooding – is not forgotten alongside the more immediate priorities to protect people’s lives and property.”