Insurers paid out £650 million in weather-related claims as the UK suffered the coldest winter for 30 years, a trade body said today.
Around 335,000 claims were made between 18 December and 13 January when the country was hit by heavy snow and freezing temperatures, the Association of British Insurers said.
The biggest area for claims was on car insurance, with insurers handling 268,400 claims and paying out £395 million to cover the cost of damage to vehicles as drivers struggled on slippery roads.
A further £255 million was paid to homeowners and businesses who submitted 66,600 claims - double the number of weather damage claims insurers would normally expect to receive during the period.
Within this total 60,200 claims were made by homeowners, with insurers paying out £194 million to cover damage to their properties, particularly for roof damage caused by snow.
Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance and health, said: "Insurers will always respond quickly to the large number of claims that often result from bad weather.
"Insurers have paid out nearly £1 billion to customers following bad weather this winter, as the heavy snow came weeks after the flooding in Cumbria, which led to insurers paying out £200 million in flood claims."
The group said it is too early to say whether the claims for this winter will lead to a hike in insurance premiums.
The total figure is well down on the £3 billion insurers paid out after the storms in 2007.
But it is higher than many recent bad weather events, with last year's flooding in Cumbria costing around £200 million, while severe floods in Carlisle in 2005 led to payouts of £250 million.
Insurers also handled claims totalling £450 million following severe snow and freezing weather in Scotland and the North East in December 1995 and January 1996.Reuse content