’In the last couple of years, we have seen significant events such as storms and flooding,’ says chief of claims

Zurich UK is moving towards “prevention rather than cure” when it comes to claims related to extreme weather conditions.

This was according to Zurich UK’s chief of claims James Nicholson, who told Insurance Times that the insurer wanted to give “confidence to customers” who may be impacted by incidents such as flooding.

This came after departing Aviva boss Adam Winslow said the average cost of restoring homes for affected customers had been £60,000 per household over the last six years.

And Flood Re’s chief executive Andy Bord stated that “more frequent and more damaging flooding is one of the ways the climate crisis is having a very real impact on households across the UK”.

“In the last couple of years, we have seen significant events such as storms and flooding,” Nicholson said.

“We will continue to see that [in the future] and [this is one] of the things Zurich [is focusing on]

“Zurich is moving towards prevention rather than cure in the claims space.”

Warning service

Earlier this year (22 May 2023), Flood Re launched a new campaign to help householders better protect themselves against the impact of future flooding by adapting their homes with property flood resilience (PFR) measures.

These aim to reduce the risk and cost of damage to homes, as well as speed up recovery and restoration time, in the event of a flood.

Nicholson explained that such measures could be introduced quicker – and therefore prevent claims – through its warning service, which was created in partnership with Previsico.

He said this allowed automated email alerts to be sent directly to customers, particularly those whose properties have been identified as at risk of flooding, ensuring they are notified and prepared for potential flood events.

“Customers who already have established risk management systems can also benefit from the data feed we provide,” he said.

“This feed offers automated real-time forecast data, which we integrate into various aspects of our operations.”

He highlighted Storm Babet as an example, which saw the Met Office issue a second red warning for parts of eastern Scotland.

“This event serves as a real-time example of how we use the data to stay ahead of the curve with our customers.

“We are able to provide them with proactive advice, alerting them to the approaching storm and helping them determine the necessary measures to protect themselves.”