December saw insurers handle more than 12,000 a day

Insurers paid out £1.4bn in ‘big freeze’ insurance claims in the UK between 24 November and 31 December 2010, according to the ABI.

There were 467,000 claims for motor, home and business during the period:

• 190,000 claims were for damage to homes and businesses (75% domestic; 25% commercial), costing £900m.

• There were 278,000 motor insurance claims, costing £530m.

• Property claims included 103,000 for burst pipe damage, costing £680m. This was up 35% on the amount paid out for burst pipes during the whole of the previous winter.

• Northern Ireland suffered 6,400 burst pipe claims, worth £40m. In Scotland, 31,000 property damage claims cost £90m.

The ABI estimated that insurers dealt with more than 12,000 claims a day, at a cost of £38m, during the coldest December on record.

ABI director of general insurance and health Nick Starling said: “The big freeze highlighted that, when bad weather strikes, there is no substitute for insurance.”