Bad weather insurance claims soared by almost 300% in the first quarter of this year as insurers helped customers who had been hit by the extreme weather.
The so-called Beast from the East and Storm Emma caused widespread disruption in late February and March and led to property insurers paying out a record breaking amount in burst pipe claims in the first quarter of the year, according to figures out this month from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
In the first quarter of 2018:
- £1.25 billion was paid by insurers under domestic and commercial property insurance policies – the highest quarterly figure for two years
- Insurance pay-outs to homeowners and businesses for storm, flood and burst pipe damage jumped to £361million, a massive 290% rise on the £93 million paid in the previous quarter. Some 86,000 claims were handled, compared to 29,000 in the previous quarter
- £194 million was paid to help homeowners cope with the misery of burst pipes. This was the highest amount ever paid in a single quarter and compared to only £4 million paid out in quarter 4, 2017.
- On commercial insurance, weather damage and escape of water claims also rose, up to £188 million, compared to £107 million in the previous quarter.
Mark Shepherd, Assistant Director, Head of Property, Commercial and Specialist Lines, ABI, said: “This winter definitely had a sting in the tail that was felt by thousands of homeowners and businesses. No matter how unpredictable the weather, insurers are always ready for it as these figures show. Whether it is for your home or your business premises, property insurance can be a lifeline if the worst happens. And for some risks, like frozen and burst pipes, simple preventative steps taken before the bad weather arrives can greatly reduce the threat.”