FLOOD-HIT home owners across the country have seen insurance excesses rocket to £20,000 in the most drastic cases and there are now fears Canvey residents could be in the same boat.

The warnings come after one Canvey couple revealed they have been quoted an excess of almost £5,000 following the floods.

Hundreds of residents are already counting the cost of damages for ruined carpets and furniture, but could now face an increase in their insurance premiums and excesses.

Mr and Mrs Herd, who were flooded for the first time in August last year, said: “We have received from our insurers their renewal notice which specifies an excess of £4,950.00 for each and any further claims made for loss or damage by floods.”

Paul Cobbing, chief executive of charity National Flood Forum, said: “In the worst cases we have seen excesses of £20,000.

“It is very variable, some people find their premiums and excesses don’t go up at all, others will find they go sky high, and everything in between, but a lot of people will find their premiums or excesses go up.”

He stressed that people should not just accept higher premiums and should shop around by ringing insurance companies directly rather than using comparison sites.

He added that people must also check the fine print of their cover to ensure it is what they need.

The Environment Agency has not yet decided whether it will pay compensation following Sunday’s floods as it is waiting for the results of the independent inquiry.