Record £573m paid out in weather-related home insurance claims in 2023: ABI

Home insurance claims for weather-related damage reached a record £573 million last year, making it the highest on record and 36% greater than 2022’s £421 million, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

This substantial rise was mostly due to the succession of storms, including Babet, Ciaran and Debi that struck the country last autumn.

According to the ABI, homeowner’s storms damage claims (high winds and debris) totalled £133 million, but subsequent flooding added a further £286 million and represents half of all weather-related claims.

In addition, a further £153 million of weather claims stemmed from burst pipes, most of which was incurred in the first three months of 2023 at the tail end of a cold winter.

Meanwhile, the ABI also noted how in total, the industry paid out £4.86 billion to homeowners and businesses in 2023, with more than half of this figure (£2.55 billion) being for home insurance claims.

The ABI said this total was up from the £2.33 billion seen in 2022 and was driven by weather-related damage.

The ABI also stated that while the total number of claims remained fairly level, the average claim paid to businesses and homeowners rose to £6,235, representing an 11% increase compared to 2022.

However, weather was not just a problem for homeowners either, with businesses incurring £443 million in weather damage claims in 2023.

But, fire still remains the primary peril to businesses (£880 million), the ABI noted.

Further, the ABI also highlighted several other trends in the data for total value of home insurance claims settled, which include: 

Theft claims value up 15% (though still lower than pre-2020 levels).
Non-weather-related water damage value (e.g. water leaks) up 20%.
Accidental damage claims value up 11%.

Louise Clark, Policy Adviser at the ABI commented: “Extreme weather events may not feel so rare as they used to as we grapple with a changing climate. Insurers continue to be there for affected homeowners, with payouts hitting record levels after a particularly difficult autumn and winter with seemingly countless storms, from Agnes onwards leading to significant flooding.

“While insurance will continue to protect homeowners and businesses, we can’t afford to lose momentum on our flood defence programme, and we continue to press the government for further investment in flood defence and maintenance, as well as calling for changes to the planning system to discourage building where flooding might be more likely.”

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