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Extreme weather drives storm damage claims up by 167% in 4 years

More than 23,000 insurance claims were made in 2022, in comparison to the 8,724 made in 2019(1), new data reveals

Published on 28th February 2024
  • As a result of bad weather spells, insurers paid out more than £76 million in 2022 for storm damage-related claims, according to Confused.com data.
  • Fences, plants and sheds get damaged the most during a storm. Elsewhere, leaky roofs and damaged tiles also seem to bear the brunt of stormy weather.
  • Repairs can be expensive, with damages totalling around £178 for gardens and £211 for properties, on average. But those who went through their insurance were able to claim £217 for garden damage and £268 for property, on average.
  • According to Confused.com data, the average home insurance policy costs around £192(3) per year. So although you might be tempted to cover damages yourself, a robust policy could save the day and actually cost you less.
  • Home insurance expert, Matthew Harwood at Confused.com explains how to get the most out of a policy and how it can cover your home for the damage extreme weather causes.

The number of storm damage claims in the UK has increased by 167% over the past 4 years. That’s as new data reveals how the amount of insurance claims made in 2022 shot up to more than 23,000 in comparison to the 8,724 made in 2019(1).

And with climate change causing more extreme weather in recent years, insurers are paying more than ever before to help cover costs. According to new data gathered by Confused.com, storm damage claims cost more than £76.7 million in 2022. This has increased by 157% over the last 4 years, where insurers paid out just £29.9 million in 2019.

And payouts could be set to increase again for insurers, with the UK already on its 10th storm since September last year(2). That means millions of properties have faced the brunt of heavy rain and strong winds, leaving them vulnerable to damage.

So how much could stormy weather impact your finances? According to further research of 2,000 UK adults, data shows how repairing damages could be pricey. That’s as those who’ve had items damaged in their garden report losses of £178, and property damage totalled £211, on average. So if you’re someone who’s had damages to both, you could see bills of £400 or more just for repairs. The most common items people saw broken or damaged after a storm were:

  • Fences and/or gates (54%)
  • Plants (39%)
  • Garden accessories (27%)
  • Sheds and/or outbuildings (20%)
  • Garden furniture (18%)

To properties themselves, broken roof tiles (21%) and leaking roofs (14%) also caused issues. When it came to repairing damaged items, 1 in 5 (20%) said that they waited more than 1 month to get it fixed. The majority (46%) said they waited for the weather to improve before fixing anything. But of those, around 1 in 3 (30%) said it’s because they needed time to save money.

According to the latest research, just a small minority of people chose to go through their insurer to reclaim costs. But data shows how those who did were in fact better off compared to those who didn’t. For those who claimed for garden damage (4%), they reclaimed around £217 , on average. And for those who claimed for property damage (14%), they reclaimed £268, on average. That means those who claimed through their insurance were around £96 better off, on average, in comparison to those who didn’t. But that’s not all. The latest data by Confused.com reveals that the average home insurance policy is around £192(3) per year, on average. That means if the excess amount is less than the total claim, policyholders could be better off going through their insurer rather than paying for the repairs.

But why aren’t people choosing to use their insurer in time of need? 2 in 5 (40%) who had damage to their property said that they could afford to repair the costs themselves. But for some it could just be down to knowing what exactly you’re paying for. That’s as around 1 in 10 (12%) didn’t know what their policy covered at the time, or they didn’t know they could claim on their insurance (11%).

Both buildings and contents insurance policies usually cover against storm damage. Often, if your home is left uninhabitable due to extreme weather, your insurer should pay for alternative accommodation until someone has fixed the repairs. This can be a lifeline for many. Research by Confused.com reveals how around 1 in 5 (20%) faced water damage to walls and flooring after stormy weather. And 1 in 10 (10%) also had other items in their home damaged as a result.

But it might be trickier when it comes to garden damage, as often outbuildings, fences and hedges aren’t covered. This could explain why many choose to fund repairs themselves for garden damage, but there may still be insurers out there who can help. That’s why it’s important to check policy documents carefully, to see what can and can’t be covered. So for those who live in a high risk area and are able to, paying a little extra for cover could help in the long run. Especially when repairs could be pricey.

Matthew Harwood, expert at Confused.com home and lifestyle insurance comments:

“Extreme weather is common this time of year, but our data shows that claims are up 167% since 2019. It’s likely that this is due to climate changes and potentially the cost of living too. With damages often costing people £389, on average, many might now be turning to their insurer for help when they’ve previously been able to cover costs themselves.

“Some people might worry that making a claim on their insurance could drive the price up the year after. Our data shows how the average claim costs around £485 in comparison to an annual cost of £192(3) for a policy. The difference could be a lifesaver if you’re left in a stressful situation. But make sure to check your excess amount before putting a claim in.

“To ensure your policy is the right one for you, always make sure to read the policy documents carefully. That way, you can be assured that you’re covered for most unexpected events if you need to make a claim. This is especially important if you live in an area of the UK which has been prone to extreme weather in recent years. And if you’re worried about the costs, a combined buildings and contents insurance policy generally is cheaper than taking out cover separately. If you’re able to, you could also pay annually. Paying upfront in this way means you’re likely to avoid monthly interest charges.”



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