Insurers are bracing themselves for a deluge of claims following weather forecasts of snowfalls and wintry showers. The much-anticipated artic blast - which has already hit Scotland - could have a huge effect on motorists, homeowners and airline travellers.

Motorists have already been warned by motor insurance companies to drive with caution.

Some homeowners (a reported one in 12) may experience the negative effects of bad weather with frozen or burst pipes.

Hundreds of airline passengers were stranded at Heathrow and Gatwick when BA cancelled flights due to snow and strong winds in Europe and North America.

More flights could be disrupted.