Counting the Cost of Storms

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Insurance claims following storms and flooding over Christmas and New Year have hit £426m, with more expected, an insurer’s group said. Insurance companies have received 174,000 claims for damage to homes, cars and businesses amid bad weather between 23 December and 8 January. The floods are still a serious problem and claims continue to arrive.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said the cost was expected to grow as a result. “Insurers are playing a crucial role in helping customers affected by the storms and floods recover,” said Aidan Kerr, the ABI’s assistant director.

“Together with loss adjusters, insurers reacted quickly to help flood victims get through Christmas. Insurers will continue to work closely with customers to ensure the repair process is completed as soon as possible.

“This was a traumatic event for those affected, and shows the importance of having adequate property insurance. The insurance industry is fully prepared to deal with the damage caused by bad weather like this.”

The overall cost of storms and floods will be much higher than the insurers’ bills. Councils have already said they would need to spend £400m repairing roads, in addition to the bill for patching up council buildings and providing emergency help. However, the costs are dwarfed by the great storm of October 1987 which cost insurance companies £2bn in today’s money. The floods in the summer of 2007 cost more than £3bn.

The St Jude’s storm in October cost insurance companies £130m.