Two thirds of Northern Irish homeowners have looked into purchasing home insurance or changing their existing policy since the storm hit

CoverBuilder, a company specialising in providing home insurance has revealed that it sold 5,284% more policies to Northern Irish customers just minutes before storm Ophelia hit Ireland last month.

That is compared to the daily average between 16 August 2017 and 16 October 2017.

A subsequent poll of 1,039 Northern Irish homeowners aged 21 and over has found that as many as two thirds (66%) have considered purchasing home insurance or changing their existing policy in the weeks since the storm left more than 50,000 homes and businesses without power.

Just under half of participants (48%) taking part also admitted to researchers that they initially ignored the early warnings of the potential damage Ophelia was capable of causing.

“As storm Ophelia began trending online and the winds across Northern Ireland reached speeds of 100mph and brought with it devastation across the country, here at CoverBuilder we witnessed a huge amount of panic amongst homeowners on 16 October, with a 5,284% increase in sales of home insurance policies that day compared to the number of policies we write on a standard working day,” said CoverBuilder head Rob Rushton.

He said that the policies were taken out at 9am that morning, before the worst hit. Then as more and more homes lost power, they witnessed a fall in enquiries in the afternoon.

Despite the dramatic increase in policies taken out, Rushton added that they are “yet to see any customers make a claim following the storm, hopefully indicating that no substantial damage was caused to any of our cautionary Northern Irish customers.”

Meanwhile, PERILS AG has suffered a market loss of €60m because of the storm which battered the UK and Ireland back in October.