An agent has been both praised and criticised for offering home insurance to private tenants living at Whaley Bridge, threatened with the possible collapse of a reservoir dam.
One resident, Leon Welliver, posted a copy of the email from Gascoigne Halman on Twitter.
The email, headed “Severe flood warning”, warns that a landlord’s insurance policy does not cover a tenant’s personal possessions.
It says: “We would like to take the opportunity to check that you have tenant’s content insurance in place for your personal belongings.
“If you would like a quote for tenant’s content insurance we would be more than happy to provide you with one, so that you can compare costs and cover to your current policy should you have one in place.”
Welliver, who lives about 300 yards from the dam and whose tweet can apparently no longer be seen on Twitter, told Metro: “I felt it was an attempt to make money. I thought it was an insensitive and insulting thing to do.
“It seems like they [Gascoigne Halman] have no concern for my family, my friends and the people of Whaley Bridge and the fact that their lives are in danger.
“But if you make a bit of commission on insurance sales, then terrific.”
One local letting agent agreed, writing on social media: “This email is absolutely disgusting and I’m sure your landlord would agree.”
But others said Gascoigne Halman had just been trying to help, by offering sound advice.
The email was sent before the mass evacuation.
Gascoigne Halman said in a statement to Metro: “With severe flood warnings in place across areas of the north-west and with the protection of our tenants’ belongings in mind, we sent out an email to all of our tenants on the morning of Thursday to remind them that they needed to have their own insurance in place to cover their personal belongings.
“Following the email we have had over 50 responses from tenants who did not have the appropriate insurance in place, thanking us for drawing their attention to this.
“We have supported these clients and helped them to insure their household belongings.”