The earthquake that struck Kent this week is set to cost the insurance industry tens of millions of pounds, according to the ABI.

Rough estimates place the number of homes affected in the hundreds, with total damage to each property ranging between £2,000 and £30,000.

Local insurers said the affected zone could be classified as higher risk as the area is also prone to flooding. This could lead to increased premiums.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the damage reached £50m," said Ray Johnson, proprietor of Folkestone-based Independent Insurance Services.

"The damage is a lot greater than people think."

Also this week, fires caused serious disruption in London and Manchester.

More than 100 firefighters were called to the scene of a blaze which engulfed two commercial buildings in Manchester city centre.

Insurer New India Assurance estimated the damage to be around £3m.

Meanwhile, London commuters faced serious delays on 26 April when two explosions at an industrial site in Deptford forced residents to leave their homes.

Losses from this incident are expected to be less than those from the Manchester fire.