Winter storm claims soar

Weather-related buildings insurance claims during the winter of 2011 increased by 56 per cent in comparison to those made during the winter months of 2010, according to MoneySupermarket.

In the fourth edition of the MoneySupermarket monitor on home insurance, the data revealed over half (55.9 per cent) of all buildings insurance claims during winter 2011 were the result of weather-related incidents, in comparison to 35.3 per cent in winter 2010 – an increase of 56 per cent.

Overall, throughout the whole year, man-made accidents took the top spot for buildings insurance claims. However, during the three-month winter period of 2011, weather-related incidents spiked.

Julie Fisher, head of home insurance at MoneySupermarket, said: “Our data reveals winter weather can be a force to be reckoned with. While the UK’s weather appears benign when compared with the extreme conditions other parts of the world are routinely subjected to, our findings show we shouldn’t be complacent. With the storms of December 2011, coupled with the recent flooding we have seen across parts of the UK, homeowners need to be increasingly on guard against potential damage to their property. Having adequate buildings and contents cover in place is essential.

“Since times are financially tough for many, it may be the case that homeowners, who previously paid for property repairs out of their own pocket to avoid having to go through the insurance process, are now more willing to turn to their insurer in their hour of need. If people have less disposable income, it’s understandable they would have a higher propensity to claim which is likely reflected in our figures.”