Property insurers counting the cost of the Beast from the East, finds the ABI


Insurers paid out £1.25 billion under domestic and commercial property insurance policies during Q1 2018—the highest quarterly figure for two years, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The so-called Beast from the East, the storm system that struck the UK and Ireland earlier this year, caused claim payouts to jump to £361 million, a massive 290% rise on the £93 million paid in the previous quarter.

According to the ABI, £194 million was paid to help homeowners cope with burst pipes. This was the highest amount ever paid in a single quarter and compared to only £4 million in Q4 2017.

The 86,000 claims that insurers handled during Q1 2018 were well above the 29,000 processed in the previous quarter.

On commercial insurance, weather damage and escape of water claims also rose, up to £188 million, compared to £107 million in Q4 2017.

Mark Shepherd, assistant director and head of property, commercial and specialist lines at the ABI, said: “This winter definitely had a sting in the tail that was felt by thousands of homeowners and businesses. No matter how unpredictable the weather, insurers are always ready for it as these figures show.”

“Whether it is for your home or your business premises, property insurance can be lifeline if the worst happens. And for some risks, like frozen and burst pipes, some simple preventative steps taken before the bad weather arrives can greatly reduce the threat.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via