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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Storm insurance claims ‘at 10-year high’

Weather-related property insurance claims in the UK hit a 10-year high during the fourth quarter of 2013 because of this winter’s extreme storms and floods, according to accountancy firm Deloitte.


Analysing the figures, drawn from Association of British Insurers data, Deloitte said that, as of December 31 2013, insurers dealt with nearly 200,000 weather-damage insurance claims to properties.

Deloitte’s insurance partner James Rakow said:  ‘Widespread storms and floods in the final three months of 2013 generated 198,000 insurance claims, which is the highest number of weather-related fourth-quarter claims in the past 10 years.’

Property damage accounted 172,000 insurance claims, domestic pipe leaks for 5,000 and commercial weather-related claims stood at 22,000.

Rakow added that the combined figures were more than twice the number (89,000) reported in the same period in 2012.

‘The storms and heavy rain in January and February this year are likely to result in the highest number of first-quarter claims since the terrible storms of 1990. These figures highlight the volatility of weather damage claims. The weather was generally good during the first nine months of 2013 with relatively few storms and floods until the St Jude’s storm of October,’ he added.

The St. Jude storm cost insurers £130m.

Estimates of industry-wide losses have so far ranged from £500m to £1.2bn. The high-end of these losses would equate to a 4% increase in the combined (loss and expense) ratio, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.