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December 2010 freeze claims cost £1.4bn: Association of British Insurers

Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that during the December 2010 freeze insurers dealt with more than 12,000 claims at a cost of £38m, and helped more than 450,000 customers.

The insurers helped the customers who suffered damage to their homes, businesses, and vehicles, as per the figures of ABI.

The damages include £900m in property claims, which is considered as the highest payout for damage caused by a bout of freezing weather and heavy snow in the UK.

According to the ABI, insurers dealt with 467,000 claims for damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.

190,000 claims were for damage to homes and businesses, at a cost of some £900m (75% domestic; 25% commercial) and in Scotland, which was particularly hit, there were 31,000 property damage claims costing some £90m.

Among the property claims, 103,000 were for burst pipe damage. The cost of these claims, at £680m, (average claim costs from £6,500 to £7,200) was up 35% on the amount paid out for burst pipes during the whole of last winter.

The large number of burst pipes in Northern Ireland resulted in 6,400 claims worth £40 million.

The vehicles damage cost £530m for 278,000 claims from insured motorists, many of these claims said to be due low speed collisions, as motorists struggled on icy roads.

ABI Director of General Insurance and Health Nick Starling said that the big freeze highlighted that when bad weather strikes there is no substitute for insurance.

"During a similar bout of freezing temperatures the previous winter, insurers paid out £700m in weather-related claims. Despite the last couple of winters being costly, insurers will continue to do all they can to ensure that the market remains as competitive as possible for consumers," Starling said.