The release of recent figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has shown that the industry paid out £1.4 billion in both car and home insurance claims during December 2010. This is twice as much as during December 2009.
Of these claims, the majority were for burst pipes which accounted for 100,000 claims and cost £680 million.Burst pipes usually occur as a result of water pipes becoming frozen and expanding. The result can be a cascade of water which causes huge damage to a home.
Nick Starling from the ABI has commented that the insurance industry is doing all it can to ensure that the market remains competitive despite the huge increase in claims. He points out that insurers do their best to respond quickly to emergencies and that they helped many people get through a very difficult December.
A report in Which? has suggested that while the ABI may claim that increases in insurance premiums will not result from the rise in claims, they believe that the cost will filter down to consumers in time. They suggest that shopping around for the best home insurance cover is more important now than ever.
Burst pipes can be avoided by leaving heating on low even when away from home, have pipes checked annually by a plumber and ensuring pipes are insulated, especially if they are close to outside walls.