Cost of average firm claim has doubled since 2002

The ABI has outlined a 12-point action plan for dealing with the spiralling cost of fires in the UK.

At a parliamentary reception, ABI director of general insurance Nick Starling, said the government, fire and rescue authorities, and businesses needed to work with the insurance industry to promote fire management in the recession.

“The challenging economic climate is having a significant impact on fire danger,” he said. “ While the numbers of fires may have been falling, the increase in large-scale fire is increasingly putting lives at risk, and more pressure on businesses in these already difficult trading times.”

Fire damage claims in the first half of 2009 cost £639m, ie £3.6m a day. This follows on from the £1.3bn fire losses in 2008, a 16% rise on 2007 and the most expensive year to date.

In 2002-08, the cost of the average fire claim for both commercial and domestic fires doubled, to £21,000 and £8,000 respectively. Arson accounts for half of all commercial fires. Tackling fire: a call for action is available from