Insurers have paid out over £650m in claims for damage related to the colder than average weather the UK has experienced this winter. The UK has experienced more snowfall than usual and much lower temperatures which have made this one of the coldest winters on record. Insurance claims have risen in line with the weather extremes.
Most of the claims are motor (for accidents on icy roads), property (for frozen pipes which cause flooding) and personal injury for slip and fall type incidents.
The £650m is just for the period of 18th December to the 13th January. The weather there has continued to be cold so the total figure for winter weather damage losses could be much higher. None of the figure takes into account business interruption type losses and economic losses the country and businesses will have suffered due to the weather. Those are not well insured risks right now and that is where weather risk management and alternative risk transfer has a chance to help.
Enabling companies to hedge the risks of these types of weather extreme is where our markets excel. Promotion of weather risk management techniques and application to the small business owner is essential and definitely a viable source of revenue for insurers and risk specialists in the future.
More on the weather losses from the Association of British Insurers here.