’Insurers continue to be there for affected homeowners, with payouts hitting record levels,’ says policy adviser

Home insurance claims for weather-related damage reached a record high in 2023 as storms battered the UK.

According to the ABI, the value of such claims reached £573m in total during the year, 36% greater than 2022 (£421m).

The rise was largely fuelled by a succession of storms, including those of Babet, Ciaran and Debi that struck last autumn.

Homeowner’s storms damage claims, including high winds and debris, totalled £133m, but subsequent flooding added £286m and represented half of all weather-related claims.

A further £153m of weather claims came from burst pipes, most of which was incurred in the first three months of 2023 at the tail end of a cold winter.

Businesses, meanwhile, incurred £443m in weather damage claims in 2023 – though fire remains the primary peril to firms (£880m).

Louise Clark, policy adviser at the ABI, said: “Extreme weather events may not feel so rare as they used to as we grapple with a changing climate.

“Insurers continue to be there for affected homeowners, with payouts hitting record levels after a particularly difficult autumn and winter.”

Total costs

Meanwhile, the ABI also revealed that property insurers paid out the equivalent of £13m every day last year to help homeowners and businesses cope with a range of unexpected and unwanted events, including flooding and theft.

In total, the industry paid out £4.86bn to homeowners and businesses in 2023, with more than half of this figure – £2.55bn – being for home insurance claims.

This is a near 10% increase on 2022 totals.

“While insurance will continue to protect homeowners and businesses, we can’t afford to lose momentum on our flood defence programme,” Clark said.

“We continue to press the government for further investment in flood defence and maintenance, as well as calling for changes to the planning system to discourage building where flooding might be more likely.”